The PIER THIRTY Group’s Western Japan HQ building, built in Kurashiki City in Okayama Prefecture, is a main office building of a company which runs eating/drinking establishments all over Japan. The venue of this building comprises the office space for administrative work and the kitchen for development of new menus as well as for practice by chefs from its each branch as test kitchen.
The square and pure white building located on a 100 square meter site is called TETOTE NOTE. TETOTE means handshake in Japanese, and it signifies the collaboration among the designers, the clients, and those involved in creating. The first to fifth floors are used as an in-house studio, and the simple arrangement of oblong circular windows in the flat outer surface is impressive. These windows have two ways of opening—vertically and horizontally. Attached just at the surface of the outer wall, these windows give the impression of flatness viewed from the outside, while the thickness of the walls further emphasizes the oblong shape, capturing more random and active shadow and light. In this way the structure has the impression of duality, with a rougher interior, and it represents a stronger relationship through space and minimal detail, without incorporating a great deal of design information. Glass is used for the roofs of the stairway shafts connecting the floors, shedding light on the walls of each floor, and this light changes over time. The steps of the steel staircases are punched through with oblong holes to allow more light to reach all the way to the bottom floor.
What does an authentic workplace look like? Designing an authentic office is not an easy task. Just like the terms “artist”, “poet” or “great lover”, these are titles that are given or need to be earned rather than being self-assigned.
Our attempt in creating an authentic workplace started off with our WorkVitamins methodology. This methodology was created by me, Martin van der Linden, principal of van der Architects, when I was an assistant researcher at Waseda Univeristy in 2001 here in Tokyo. I believes that architecture can be a catalyst for change in innovative environments, and this methodology – called “WorkVitamins” – is based on this idea.
A residential complex located in Muko city, Kyoto. The building is facing to a historical street. The location is mixed with historic sites and countryside sceneries as well as the modern shops and apartments, making the area rather unarranged. Thus, we aimed not just to meet the requirements as a preferable rent but also aimed to make the architecture have positive effects to the townscape when to design this apartment.
The “House along Saigoku highway” is a renovation project of an over-100-year-old wooden house located aside the Saigoku highway in the city of Muko at Kyoto Prefecture. Due to artistic activity made by the owner; it is a living and atelier space for a 3 member’s family; the 60-years-old parents and their high school teenager son.
Hourglass is a minimalist residence located in Gunma, Japan, designed by Studio LOOP. The exterior of the house is characterized by blue galvanized panels and an array of wooden accents. The building is constructed of two main volumes, connected in the middle by a transparent walkway. The interior is composed of wooden walls and ceilings that match the bespoke cabinetry and furniture found throughout the space. The floors are a darker grain of wood that shift to walnut on the upper level.