R/URBAN DESIGN OFFICE Head Office in Tokyo
R/URBAN DESIGN OFFICE
17. August 2020
Photo: Kenya Chiba
Two roads were there. A wide road with traffic and a narrow alley in a residential area. The new office space for R/URBAN DESIGN OFFICE LLC was planned between these two contrasting roads. Originally, it was divided into a commercial tenant space facing the wide road and a residential space facing the narrow alley. By removing the wall in between and integrating them into one section, an open workplace was realized where wind, light and people pass through.
Location: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Architect: R/URBAN DESIGN OFFICE
- Architects in Charge: Tomohiko Amemiya, Yuta Hosoya, Tomoki Ushio
Photo: Kenya Chiba“Tori-DOMA” connecting two roads
At first, a 3.5-meter-wide road-like space (=Tori DOMA) connects the two roads. "Tori DOMA," which can be seen in traditional Japanese houses, is the unpaved utility space that connects the main entrance and the sub-entrance. We reinterpreted the idea of Tori DOMA to create our new office space that can be flexibly changed depending on how the furniture is placed and that can easily accommodate future changes in the number of people. The rest of the space was divided by 6 walls to be allocated for relatively clear purposes such as a meeting space, storage, toilet, kitchen, management space, and sub-entrance, which are all accessed from Tori DOMA.
Photo: Kenya Chiba
Photo: Kenya ChibaOpen “ENGAWA” for public use
The previous tenant used until the road boundary as its private interior space, but we set back the position of the entrance door about on meter to experimentally create an external piloti space (=ENGAWA, which is typical semi-outdoor space in Japanese traditional house). I think that the local community is an ecology of innumerable “give and take” exchange that cannot be measured by monetary value. Then, we tried to throw out ENGAWA space that is not occupied by anyone to the local area. What kind of communication in the local community will be exchanged from this space? We will keep watching, and actively join in the ecology of local society.
Photo: Kenya ChibaModal change of space
Facing the ENGAWA space, wooden sliding doors were installed as the main entrance to the office. It is composed of three sliding frame doors with corrugated polycarbonate sheets and a large sliding flush door with a galvanized steel sheet. The main activity of our office is architectural design work, but various activities are also usual such as meetings with visitors, internal study sessions, and sometimes public event inviting many people. In order to support such diverse and free use, the fixtures and curtains are designed to allow the modal change of space. If you fully open the sliding doors with polycarbonate sheet, Tori DOMA will be connected to the wide road via ENGAWA, and if the large sliding door is opened, the meeting space will be connected to the city. By designing the variation of multiple connections between interior / exterior spaces or between rooms, we believe it may have become a workspace with the atmosphere of open to diverse possibilities.