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These box buildings may have simple shapes and functional plans but they are anything but boring. Japanese architecture firm Atelier Tekuto has made minimalism the driving concept of their dynamic contemporary designs, from single-family houses to multi-unit homes and mixed-used projects.

Take this three-story house for instance – the use of an incredible cantilever, strategic lighting and a slight tilt to the roof line turn a modernist concrete-and-glass box into a lofted luxury space that seems to tower over you despite the small lot size.

In this connected pair of apartment complexes, boxes are used to articulate special spaces while box-shaped glass blocks allow for a mixture of light and privacy on the inside while reinforcing the rigid geometric aesthetic of the overall design.

Calculated slits, folds, bends and other deformations of the underlying box shape allow these architects to work with strangely-shaped sites, existing roof lines, adjacencies and other contextual conditions without compromising core conceptual themes or a contemporary look. Somehow, these places still manage to look like they belong in Japan – a new generation of subtle Japanese style.

Even when the firm goes further afield and uses curves or more complex geometries, there is a recognizable simplicity of shape, stark black-and-white contrast of materials and unity of design within each piece of their diverse architectural portfolio. In short: the designs of Atelier Tekuto are masters not only of architecture and continuity but also of adaption and flexibility.