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Store Fixture at “JINS Namba Parks Store” Representing a Garden created by State-of-the-Art Technology and Hardwood
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Outline

Collaborative Project between Innovative Eyewear Brand Store and a Globally Renowned Architect

Hidakuma has been dealing with unique custom-made furniture and office spaces. For the first time the company worked on a furniture project used in a store, along with KOMPAS, owned by a Hong Kong and Tokyo-based architect Mai Komuro. The other two companies involved were Artistry and Kanemoku Co., Ltd.

The store is “JINS Namba Parks Store” of eyewear brand JINS, which reopened its commercial facility in Osaka this spring. JINS, which creates unique store designs for each region in collaboration with architects and artists, commissioned KOMPAS to design this project. As work progresses toward the opening in March, Komuro struggled to find the suited material and method of making the furniture with a complicated shape that expresses the concept. As the opening day was approaching, she recalled that she used to use 3D CNC (computer-controlled machining) at her former employer Herzog & de Meuron. Komuro thought Hidakuma might be a perfect fit to cooperate as it specializes in both technology and craftsmanship while making the most of CNC processed wood. This is how a furniture production project under time pressure started with Hidkuma, three months prior to the opening.

First, Hidakuma receives 3D data of furniture from Komuro who was designing using BIM (Building Information Modeling), and redesigns it into a programmable shape by CNC. Hidakuma proceeded with the production of seven fixtures while calculating the required number of hundreds of parts, the processing time, and the budget, each of which had a slightly different shape depending on the parameter for each size and each step. From the production of prototypes to the selection and procurement of timber, as well as from processing and manufacturing to the installation and installation of furniture, Hidakuma provided direction of comprehensive furniture production to support this short-term project.

While making full use of the power of technology, we have created a unique furniture fixture that uses organic solid hardwood in abundance creating a luxurious feel.

【Project Overview】

  • Support Details
    ・Furniture fixture production direction
    ・Prototype production of furniture fixtures
    ・Production drawing and 3D modeling
    ・Timber selection and procurement
    ・Process control
    ・Processing and manufacturing
    ・Delivery and installation
  • Duration
    December 2019 – March 2020
  • Team Organization
    ・Client: JINS Co., Ltd.
    ・Interior design and furniture design: KOMPAS (Mai Komuro)
    ・Interior construction supervision: Space Co., Ltd.
    ・Wood coordination and furniture production direction: Hidakuma (Hideaki  Asaoka and Kosuke Kuroda)
    ・Production: Artistry Co., Ltd., Kanemoku Co., Ltd., Fujii Furniture Co., Ltd. (in no particular order)

Outputs

Circular-shaped Furniture with Beautiful Wood Grain, Making up of Folds Like Petals

Komuro, who led the store interior project, was inspired by the innovative JINS brand of the eyewear industry and Namba Parks, a commercial facility with abundant natural green. Instead of being limited to the conventional rectangular module fixture as an eyewear display furniture, she chose the organic circular wooden piece, encouraging visitors to wander and creating a store space with a unique presence.
Of the seven fixtures that are shaped like a stack of folds, the largest is about 1.6m in height and about 3m in diameter. The wooden parts that are shaped like petals, which is a space for displaying products, are made with Hida’s small-diameter tree, which Hidakuma specializes in, with the size that just one pair of glasses can be perfectly placed. In actuality, this fixture has 7㎥ of broad-leaved trees that are by far the largest project in Hidakuma history, and mixes seven kinds of trees, showing a very rich expression dependent on the  angle customers stand. Despite the different heights, we paid particular attention to the wood grain and color of the plane and cross section, and pursued detail to the end in order to achieve the impression of solid wood. With a shape like a big pine cone, the team has successfully created a furniture with a beautiful wood grain that makes you want to touch the fixture as you pick up glasses.

 <S>
 Material: Beech, cherry birch, Japanese birch, mountain cherry
 Unit: 1
 Size: (A)W2050×D2050×H1450
 Finish: oil
 Other Specifications: nil

 <M>
 Material: Beech, cherry birch, Japanese birch, mountain cherry, machilus
 Unit: 1
 Size: (A)W2410×D2410×H1450
 Finish: oil
 Other Specifications: nil

 <L>
 Material: Beech, cherry birch, Japanese birch, Japanese walnut, horse chestnut
 Unit: 1
 Size: (A)W2780×D2780×H1450
 Finish: oil
 Other Specifications: nil

 <L half-size>
 Material: Beech, cherry birch, Japanese birch, Japanese walnut, horse chestnut
 Unit: 2
 Size: (A)W2760×D2250×H1450
 Finish: oil
 Other Specifications: nil

 <XL>
 Material: Beech, cherry birch, Japanese birch, Japanese walnut
 Unit: 1
 Size: (A)W3115×D3115×H1640
 Finish: oil
 Other Specifications: nil

Process

3D Modeling, CNC Design, Followed by Dividing Production into Smaller Jobs

Disassembled into smaller parts (Hidakuma)

In this project, the team of KOMPAS, JINS and its store construction company had already advanced the interior design, while Hidakuma took charge of the furniture production direction of complicated shapes as well as wood coordination. Since all the side surfaces of the furniture with 11 steps were raised diagonally, which the designer was very particular about, we decided to proceed with the production mainly with CNC machining.

After receiving a consultation from Komuro, Hidakuma converted the design drawing created by BIM into a shape that can be programmed by CNC software. Since hundreds of wooden parts differ in height and shape from stage to stage, and without programming, the machining time and budget for each part could not be met. This discussion and negotiation were the most challenging task of all stages, which took about one month to work on data and agree on the budget. Despite all the challenges, thanks to Komuro’s BIM blueprints, Hidakuma was able to work with her via 3D data, so the team was successful to accurately reproduce the design of complex shapes.

As the opening day for the store was approaching, in parallel with the data conversion work, we proceeded with each smaller job, including producing S-sized furniture of 5 different sizes.

Sharing the Size and Texture of Trees by Checking Prototypes in Hida

Temporary assembly at Artistry Co., Ltd.

Approximately one month after Hidakuma started consulting for this project, prototype parts were completed, and Komuro and JINS staff visited Hida for some more confirmation on details. Up to this point, sharing the image of the actual size of the furniture and the texture of the wood had been all conducted by email or phone. So for this occasion, we also discussed how to mix the tree species, how to display the glasses, and where to place the mirrors.

Hidakuma took the visitors to Hida forest to show and give them a chance to learn about the current state of forests and forestry industry. Japanese hardwood is a material that is difficult to use as it does not grow thick, and the area they grow are the slopes. However, its use will lead to resource recycling and the creation of economic value in the region.
A tour of the logging site covered the area where logs are cut down and the trees grow. Komuro had a chance to learn the conditions of the trees that have been cut down from the mountains, witnessing the original shape of the trees before being sawed into squares. Her thoughts went off on to how to make the most of the organic form that nature offers.

We also guided Komuro to the sawmill and watched the logs being made into board. We were pleased to share the experience of how raw wood is processed. Being able to follow the tree growing process to product processing together with the client and the production team is one of the advantages working with Hidakuma.

A Japanese Leading CNC Machine Produces Parts Based on Drawings

Machine Processing with 5-axis CNC (Photo provided by Artistry Co., Ltd.)

(Photo provided by Artistry Co., Ltd.)

The cutting of the fold-shaped wooden parts is the first request Hidakuma initially received. Since this is a very labor-intensive process, Hidakuma chose Artistry Co., Ltd., a custom-made furniture manufacturing company in Aichi Prefecture, as its production partner. With their leading 3D multi-axis CNC machine in Japan, the shapes and forms in the drawing  are to appear.


To fabricate the upper half of the furniture with a complicated design, the donut-shaped base and the fold-shaped parts are stacked together. As for the base, the XL size is dodecagon, the L size dodecagon, the M size octagon, and the S size hexagon. As the steps rise, the outer shape gradually becomes smaller and the thickness increases.

Delivering from Aichi to Osaka - Construction Work in Pursuit of Detail

Mr. Fujii (front) and Mr. Naruse (back) of Fujii Furniture Manufacturing

Seven fixtures were manufactured in approximately one month, and finally brought and installed in the commercial facility in Osaka. Hidakuma worked with craftsmen for four days of night construction after the store was closed. Since the position for assembly had been set with CNC, the actual process of assembly was completed in one day by “human sea tactics” with 6 craftsmen. However, the details were pursued till the very end. In response to Komuro’s request for high accuracy, the project was finally completed.


This time, Hidakuma worked as a liaison between the architect and the sawmill and production partners suited for this project, and provided full support from design to construction. We have been successful creating high-quality store fixtures by making full use of tree technology, knowledge, and the latest technology.

Members

小室 舞|Mai Komuro
Representative of KOMPAS / First-class registered architect
Born in Osaka and raised in Kobe. Graduated from the Department of Architecture, Kyoto University, and completed the Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo. Further studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. In 2008-17 belonged to Herzog & de Meuron (has been an associate, and worked in the Hong Kong office since 2014). Between 2009-10, Assistant Professor of Chiba Campus, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich. Established KOMPAS in 2017 both in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Main works include Renovation of Setagaya (2019), Sendagaya Building (scheduled to be completed in 2021) and Seiji Project (scheduled to be completed in 2021). Works at Herzog & de Meuron include 2011-12 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (London) and M+Museum (Hong Kong).
http://www.kompas-arch.com/index.html

Artistry Co., Ltd.
One of the largest custom-made furniture manufacturing companies in the Tokai area in Aichi Prefecture. Specializes in interior decoration of commercial facilities, public facilities, offices, hotels, etc. With highly experienced craftsmanship and the latest digital machines, Artistry has been successful handling highly challenging projects with high quality and on-time delivery, which has resulted in earning the trust of our customers. Since 2016, the company has introduced a 5-axis control CNC, a rare technology in the industry. In recent years Artistry has been offering comprehensive services from design consultation for 3D projects to data creation and processing.
http://www.artistry.co.jp/

Atsuki Ohnishi
Artistry Co., Ltd.
Planning & External Sales Development Division
After graduating from Nagoya University of Arts, he studied the know-how and production management of woodworking at Kashiwa Mokko Co., Ltd. Joined Artistry in 2015. As the first operator of 5-axis control CNC, Ohnishi serves as a contact point for complex projects including 3D ones, connecting designers, design engineers and craftsmen.

Hideaki Asaoka
Works at Hidakuma Co., Ltd. Born in Hida City, Gifu Prefecture. After graduating from Nagoya University of Arts, Asaoka experienced furniture production and design at a furniture manufacturer and interior design office. Joined Hidakuma in 2016 and is in charge of a wide range of product development, design, production, and construction. With a wide range of knowledge about trees and a deep respect for craftsmen, he strives every day to add new value to trees.

Kousuke Kuroda
Wood Creative Director at Hidakuma Inc.,
Born in Osaka. While studying architecture and woodwork at university, Kuroda got interested in the phenomenon of light, which inspired him to go to Finland to study the design of furniture and lighting.Then, joined Hidakuma in 2019, who treats the material of wood beyond furniture, and is heavily involved in the forest matters. Kuroda’s aim is to create new things and values by adjusting or connecting the balance among matters such as people and materials, digital and analog. He values every daily life, and enjoys walking and looking for good music.

Member’s Voice

“The atmosphere of the store became bright and it was very refreshing. The store is also so open that there is a sense of spaciousness, and I feel even more comfortable than before. I am excited to go to such a beautiful workplace every day.

We are very pleased to hear that the customers have the impression that the shop has become a store with warm ambience as the new design uses plenty of wood. It also served as a catalyst for the conversation between the store staff and customers.

The first impression of the space is that it is open and bright.

The furniture based on wood not only creates brightness but also warmth, and I feel that it is a space that stimulates the five senses in spite of its simplicity.

In addition, the furniture of different heights and the complicated design offers a playful feeling like being in a maze, and it is a space that you would enjoy even when you just stop by. Because it uses real wood (solid wood), you can relax as surrounded by the scent of the natural environment.

Our store staff would like to provide not only products, but a space of “comfort”. It is our hope that the JINS Namba Parks store, which is located in the middle of the city, can provide a store space with abundant nature, which hopefully leads to the “comfort” for customers.”

Staff members at the JINS Namba Parks store

I received this project even though I had had no experience in store interior design. While I was aware that JINS had already had experiences in collaborating with various architects and designers, my challenges were “how could I create a unique design and experience”? The whole project was a series of days of trial and error discovering a new approach to displaying glasses.
When I visited Hidkuma once in an exhibition plan in Hong Kong two years ago, we had a rather simple project, but I remembered that they used small diameter wood, a variety of tree species, volume of solid wood, digital processing etc. That worked out to be a hint for success. While I was struggling to find a way to realize the project, “perhaps Hidakuma can handle this project?” was my thought, and that feeling was like the puzzle pieces falling into places, and surely enough, that opened up my path to completing the project. In order to achieve a special shape and texture at the same time, I was convinced of the potentials that fusing craft and technology could bring, so Hidakuma, who actually practices it, was a reassuring partner.
It was a surprise for everyone to use solid wood furniture in the store, but thanks to everyone involved in taking on such a challenge and making it possible including the budget and schedule, we were able to make it a unique store with unique furniture. I hope that people in Osaka will love the shop for a long time.

Mai Komuro
Representative of KOMPAS

Asaoka from Hidakuma and I went to the same university and also worked together before on a project as a professional in the past. When I was approached with this project, despite the tight schedule, I was convinced that I could realize it if it was done with him.
At the beginning of the project, the internal design was still in progress. When calculated backward from the opening date, the construction period was only about one month, and it was a challenge to schedule when to design, when materials should be prepared, 3ⅮNC processing, assembly, and painting. I submitted the requested date and time to Asaoka, asking him to make some adjustments on his schedule. Perhaps in retrospect, the project went smoothly simply because we both respected each other as professionals.
Since the start of production, the fixtures consisting of more than 1100 parts have been successfully completed, and the 5-axis operator and a dozen or so craftsmen have communicated and worked to stay on schedule. I don’t think it would not have been completed in time in normal circumstances. I appreciate that this project was achievable because our company was not just a group of furniture craftsmen, but there were experienced production staff, 3D drawing designers, 5 axis operators, and many craftsmen.

Atsuki Ohnishi
Artistry Co., Ltd.
Planning & External Sales Development Division

The hardwood we used in this project is about 7㎥. This volume of the wood used in one project is the largest in the history of Hidakuma.
The finished product uses beech as a main wood piece and mixed with other pieces of wood including birch, cherry birch, cherry, and walnut. It is the result of a good balance of wood inventory, delivery time, design, and quality, which in fact gave this work a unique appearance. The wood grain and color give different expressions depending on the angle you look from. An overwhelming presence is there where small pieces gathered into a large mass.
The tree pieces are small and uneven, and each piece used is minimum using many different types. This may sound like a drawback from a conventional manufacturing perspective. However, we were able to realize this unique piece that does not exist anywhere else because we managed to put the passion and technology of those involved into this outcome.
The amount of 7㎥ may be a small number in the forest industry. However, this 7㎥ that appeared in Osaka is rather a “large” 7㎥ that embodies the diversity and richness of the forest and the technology of people.

Hideaki Asaoka
Hidakuma

Company Overview

JINS Co., Ltd.
Eyewear brand “JINS” is proud top 1 glass store for sales volume in Japan, and is supported by many people of all ages or gender. At the store, there are approximately 1200 types of glass items from classic to trendy ones. The company continues to pursue innovations to enrich our customers’ lives, developing products that collaborate with world-renowned designers and architects and developing services that make full use of AI.
https://www.jins.com/jp/

 

Text: Rina Ishizuka
Photographs: Ano Daici

Would you like to make store furniture making the best use of the characteristics of hardwood?

At Hidakuma, we support you from the proposal to the design and installation of store furniture and office furniture. Please feel free to contact us.
For enquiries see here.