Minoru and Teruko Yamasaki House

Bloomfield Township
Minoru Yamasaki
Date: 1972

The Minoru and Teruko (Hirashiki) Yamasaki House is a two story, flat roof structure with an L-shaped plan. Constructed 1972, it is a unique example of Japanese influenced Modern residential architecture designed by local architect Minoru Yamasaki for himself and his family. Yamasaki remarked that Japanese architecture sought a quality of serenity which he sought to incorporate into the design. He stated about his home, “Buildings should not awe and impress, but rather, serve as a thoughtful background for the activities of contemporary man.  Basically, I wanted an understated house with large spaces.  Most houses are too overstated with gables, tricky roofs . . . they try to be sensational. . .”  The roof structure is comprised of truss joists with a built up flat roof, which extends beyond the exterior walls for shade. The exterior is clad in aluminum glazed curtain walls and beige colored brick.  The openings are oriented to the northeast and the southwest to provide light and views of the surrounding property.  An addition adjoins the original house on the southeast. 

The interior of the house contains approximately 7000 sf of space on two levels. Private and utility spaces such as the kitchen, bedrooms, or bathrooms flank the centrally located public spaces such as a living room or multi-purpose space. The house includes five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.  The large glazed curtain walls facing three directions provide natural light and allow expansive views of the surrounding landscape. The house is furnished with many mid-century modern pieces.

The House is located on a 1.8-acre lot in close proximity to the Bloomfield Hills Club. The house is set back from Lakecrest Drive in a clearing and surrounded by an open lawn. The lake located in the rear of the house runs parallel to the northeast edge of the property.

The Minoru and Teruko (Hirashiki) Yamasaki House is a two story, flat roof structure with an L-shaped plan. Constructed 1972, it is a unique example of Japanese influenced Modern residential architecture designed by local architect Minoru Yamasaki for himself and his family. Yamasaki remarked that Japanese architecture sought a quality of serenity which he sought to incorporate into the design. He stated about his home, “Buildings should not awe and impress, but rather, serve as a thoughtful background for the activities of contemporary man.  Basically, I wanted an understated house with large spaces.  Most houses are too overstated with gables, tricky roofs . . . they try to be sensational. . .”  The roof structure is comprised of truss joists with a built up flat roof, which extends beyond the exterior walls for shade. The exterior is clad in aluminum glazed curtain walls and beige colored brick.  The openings are oriented to the northeast and the southwest to provide light and views of the surrounding property.  An addition adjoins the original house on the southeast. 

The interior of the house contains approximately 7000 sf of space on two levels. Private and utility spaces such as the kitchen, bedrooms, or bathrooms flank the centrally located public spaces such as a living room or multi-purpose space. The house includes five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.  The large glazed curtain walls facing three directions provide natural light and allow expansive views of the surrounding landscape. The house is furnished with many mid-century modern pieces.

The House is located on a 1.8-acre lot in close proximity to the Bloomfield Hills Club. The house is set back from Lakecrest Drive in a clearing and surrounded by an open lawn. The lake located in the rear of the house runs parallel to the northeast edge of the property.

Built in 1972, the Yamasaki House is a significant example of Modern residential architecture.  Constructed of a simple geometric form, the house features an open floor plan, minimal ornamentation, and large expanses of glass to allow for natural light.  The interior reflects Yamasaki’s desire for living space that imparted a sense of peace upon its inhabitants.  After coming to Michigan, Yamasaki established himself as an internationally renowned architect, and developed three successful practices.  Though known popularly as the architect of the World Trade Center in New York, Yamasaki designed many notable and acclaimed buildings both nationally and internationally.  He received numerous awards and honorary degrees, and his work has been widely exhibited.  Yamasaki also holds the distinction of being one of a select few architects to grace the cover of Time magazine, appearing in the January 18, 1963, issue.

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Further Reading

Firm: Minoru Yamasaki & Associates
Building Type: Residential


Awards & Recognition:
  • National Register of Historic Places (2013)
 
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  • Yam033-2
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