Square wooden pillars in a cross shape on the floor of a building in Shibuya, Tokyo, create new “agile” project space
In the middle of an office on the third floor of a building in Shibuya, Tokyo, there are a number of huge solid square pillars lying on the floor. What strikes you as you walk into the office is the view of the capital city’s expressway through the office windows, and inside the office, the glass partitions which give a clear view of the entire floor and the crossed wooden base made of huge pillars. This is Project Space COOOP3, innovative office space designed by Yusuke Ono (Domino Architects). The area is not designed to be quiet office space, but is rather aimed at project space where staff actively participate in brainstorming sessions and discussions. The substantial wooden pillars are a key feature of the room, providing a unique partition system and functions.
Space loosely connecting diverse projects
The design minimizes the use of walls. Instead, by using glass partitions to divide the office, three separate work spaces are created, but at the same time the individuals working in them are visually connected and the whole floor somehow remains visible at a glance. The floor is divided into space intended for long-term projects and a “war room” intended for short, intensive use by many projects, thus creating an open feel in the office with various projects of different sizes and durations all simultaneously under way on the same floor.
The project space can be divided into appropriately sized areas by slotting portable whiteboard panels into the grooves in the crossed wooden base. This is particularly useful when an ongoing project has important notes on the removable whiteboard. The entire whiteboard and walls are replaceable so project teams can freely move to another area. A whiteboard slotted into the groove in the large wooden pillar in the middle of the project space can also be used as a partition.
Fusion of manual woodwork and technology
With no explicit function for the wall located at the center of the space at the designing phase and anticipating a gradual shift in its usage over time, we proposed a system called “kabetsugi” or wood joint grid system on the wall. The female side is fixed on the wall, while the male side can be manufactured later with a 3D printer as needed and flexibly “hack” the wall.
“Tsugite”, a traditional carpenter’s technique, was used for the joints, combining delicate manual work and cutting edge technology. Thus we realized a design at furniture-level scale that meets the overall concept for this space, namely, that how the space is used is left to the users.
Use of Hida wood
The wood portion of the project in which Hidakuma participated is shown below. All the material was locally grown in Hida and most of the manufacturing was carried out at Hidakuma in collaboration with a professional building company in Hida City.
Information provided by: Yusuke Ono, DOMINO ARCHITECTS
- Suspended Batten: Walnut □30
- Frame Rack: Zelkova □30
- Base for Glass Sheet: White Pine □30
- Base for Whiteboard: White Pine □300
- Bench: White Pine □300
- Hinged Door Finish: Chestnut Veneer t3
- Wall Finish: Walnut Veneer t3
- Boardroom Tabletop: Hardwoods
- Communal Tabletop: Hardwoods
- Trestle: Cherry, Cherry Birch, and Oak 30×40
- Wall Joint: Chestnut, Walnut
Project Year: 2017
Location: Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Main Purpose: Office design
Architect in Charge: Yusuke Ono, DOMINO ARCHITECTS
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