Architects are often societal renegades with their own private visions and concepts of design. Close your eyes and picture rugged individualist Gary Cooper in the classic film The Fountainhead that was popular in the last century. After all, architecture is a statement of human progress, achievement and technology.

In keeping with usual visions and perspectives, consider this magnificent Japanese crystal brick structure that comes as close as any building can be to a custom-made, magical design that aims to please those who are paying for it.

Japanese architect, Yasuhiro Yamashita (Atelier Tekuto) aims to please his clients and loves the challenge of working with diverse people, materials and environments. This house was constructed with the idea that it would be as sunny and bright as the many crystals the client amassed as a hobby.

The glass blocks comprise the primary structure, which in itself is positively amazing. The actualization of this novel concept was the end result of collaboration with structural engineers, university experiments, construction companies and diverse manufacturing interests.

His thinking revolves around the concept of masonry; that is, architecture that stifles individuality and achieves totality by stacking identical objects on top of each other on the proposed structure. Glass block is not one of the more common elements used in masonry. More popular materials include: marble, granite, travertine, limestone, concrete block and tile.

Yamashita’s architecture conveys three concepts: society, the environment and function. In an effort to do his part in reducing the carbon footprint, he has become increasingly reliant on natural resources such as wood, soil and brick.

“I …create my architecture based on the system of society, the environment, the function, and the collaboration with people from various fields. … I now also focus on the relationship with other countries and regions. Recently I increasingly care for the environment by using natural resources… I continue to create new visions of architecture in different circumstances and places for the future”, says Yamashita.

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M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.