Tono Mirai’s encounter with raw earth stems from a desire to recover the manual side of architectural creation and he goes in search of materials that could give him this possibility. He sees in raw earth the possibility of creating more welcoming spaces, capable of channelling life energies and curing the stress of contemporary life with round, gentle forms combined with warm and natural colours.
In 1995 he founded his own studio and began to devote himself to organic and contemporary architecture in raw earth. For the new home and office designed for his family, sickened by physical and psychological stress, he chose an airy, fluid design, far from the idea of a closed box typical of the ultra-modern flats in central Tokyo, to create a space where he can relax. In renovating the “Kanda SU/Nest House” he used the traditional plastering technique of the Japanese craftsmen of Sakan: the result transforms a succession of closed, lifeless spaces into a welcoming environment vibrant with positive energy, capable of changing over time and regenerating according to the Jinen philosophy.
In 2000, during the inauguration of “nest=0” in London, visitors from all over the world found a familiar typology in that building, showing that earthen architecture can strike a universal chord. In the following years the commissions followed. Works such as “Red Container”, “Future House” and especially “Shell House/ The language of the forest”, his representative creation, combine a unique and essential design with the benefits and comfort of traditional earth architecture. His ability to push the concept of sustainability with the use of organic and local materials, and for having freed the construction procedure from the slavery of industrial processes and components, and for his modern use of traditional techniques, has bestowed Tono Mirai with international prizes and awards, participating too in talks and conferences in Japan and Europe.
His portfolio also includes several installations in raw clay, which transform this material into a vehicle for conveying his ideas. His most recent research focuses on the use of the pisé technique in a modern Japanese way that involves the mixed use of wood and earth, and on the potential of reusing earth from construction waste.

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Tono Mirai will participate in the Architecture Biennale in Venice 2021 with a new site-specific installation, part of the exhibition “Time Space Existence” organised by the European Cultural Center.

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2020 Build Architectural Award / Wood Architecture Award 2020 by Architectual Institute of Japan  

2019 A+Award Private House Jury winner by Architizer / Grand Prize for the residence of Nagano Architectural association

2018 Special Prize for the residence of Cental region Wood Design Award

2016 TERRA AWARD Prize for Honorable mention

2013 Prize for architectural plaster work by Japan shikkui association  

2011 Prize for architectural plaster work by Japan shikkui association / Recommended Design Prize by Association for Children’s Environment / 1st PRIZE for new traditional wooden House by Monozukuri University

2006 Special PRIZE by Ecological Art Award of Japan

2004 Grand Prize for Renovation, Renewal & Conversion Design Competition / The prize for interior Planning Award