Kojimachi Terrace is an interior and exterior design project for an eleven-story office building located in the Kojimachi neighbourhood in central Tokyo. It was designed for Yokohama Ekimau Building by Nendo including the three-story Sky Forest.
Kojimachi Terrace pops up instantly between the surrounding glass and steel buildings of the Tokyo’s Kojimachi area. The wooden structure covering the façade is extended via the impressive entrance into the interiors beginning. From the outside, a part of the gardens en greenery on the different floors is visible.
It is a work by Nendo/ Oki Sato and his Tokyo design studio. Born in 1977 in Toronto, Canada, he has conquered the design world from the Japanese capital in record time.
His device: “Giving people a small moment. There are so many small moments hidden in our everyday. But we don’t recognize them. and even when we do recognize them, we tend to unconsciously reset our minds and forget what we’ve seen. But we believe these small moments are what make our days so interesting, so rich. That’s why we want to reconstitute the everyday by collecting and reshaping them into something that’s easy to understand. We’d like the people who’ve encountered Nendo’s designs to feel these small moments intuitively. That’s Nendo’s job.”
About the Kojimachi Terrace project he said: “ Typical office buildings are usually built as closed-off blocks with artificial climate control that do not share any real physical connection with the outdoors. Therefore, in the “Kojimachi Terrace design, the external elements were taken into account to allow for a more physical experience of the outdoors, like witnessing the changing weather and yearly seasons.”
To incorporate the environment into the building, balconies were designed on six out of the building’s eleven floors. Intended to be exterior spaces, each terrace can be transformed into a private meeting area by closing the doors and windows concealed around it. A unique open-airgarden located on the building’s highest levels, incorporates lush greenery infused with natural light and air. This three-story “Sky Forest” is a nature-like hideaway for the building’s employees, while generating a sense of unity over the different floors. The rest of the building’s facade is covered with large glass windows which some of them enabling natural air to enter the building.
Incorporating many terraces and large open windows meant constructing invisiblerails for prevention from falling as well as numerous pillars to support the window construction. By designing these rails and pillars to appear the same size and wooden finish as the facade, and by weaving this together into a natural looking grid, the visual noise has become integrated and camouflaged within the exterior.
Along with the intricate exterior design, the materials used for the interior include raw stone and bronze-colored stainless steel. The textured finishes of the floors and walls were executed manually by a plasterer to achieve an uneven natural appearance. Similarly to the building’s facade, the interior lighting elements were also weaved using rails in the same proportions as the external profiles.
The light is directed both to the floor and ceiling, creating a sense of depth and brighten-up the whole space with indirect illuminations. The weaving element was also incorporated in a bench placed by the entrance, as well as in the carpet’s pattern and the building’s logo.
Production: OBJEKT USA-CANADA
Photos ©: Takumi Ota