nendo have designed an 11-storey office building in the Kojimachi neighbourhood in central Tokyo. Rather than allow another typical closed-off, block-ish office building with artificial light and aircon to populate the street, nendo wanted to create a space with real physical connection with the exterior environment.

External elements were taken into account to allow for a more physical and visceral experience of the outdoors, such as witnessing the changing weather and yearly seasons. Balconies have been placed sporadically on six floors, each of which can easily transform into a private meeting area by closing the doors and windows concealed around it.

An open-air garden across the building’s top three levels, dubbed ‘Sky Forest’, allows for a nature-immersive hideaway for employees, while simultaneously generating a sense of unity over different floors. Most of the façade is comprised of expansive glass windows, some of them operational to allow fresh air to enter the offices.

The most defining feature is a timber grid that crisscrosses over the full height of the building. The pillars actually serve a safety purpose, acting as a railing across the many terraces and open windows as well as supporting the windows structurally. The grid further helps to reduce the flat and cold impression seen in most office buildings that nendo were aiming to subvert.

Along with the intricate exterior design, materials used for the interior include raw stone and bronze-coloured stainless steel. The textured finish of the floors and walls were executed manually by a plasterer to achieve an uneven and more natural appearance. The light is directed both to the floor and ceiling, creating a sense of depth and brightening the space with indirect illuminations.

Echoing the timber grid facade, the interior lighting elements are weaved within rails of the same proportions as the external profiles. The weaving element was also incorporated into a bench by the entrance, as well as in the patterned carpet and the logo of the building.

 

See more project by nendo on Yellowtrace here.

 

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[Images courtesy of nendo. Photography by Takumi Ota.]

 

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