NGK/NTK Venture Lab Tokyo
Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Located on the 13th floor of an office tower in Shinagawa, Venture Lab Tokyo is a 260㎡facility dedicated to showcasing the clients core technologies utilizing fine ceramics and promoting active engagements with potential partners to co-create products in the field of medicine, environment and next-generation vehicles.
The brief called for a reception, lounge and exhibition space within a typical open plan office space surrounded by meeting rooms and a VIP room. The distinguishing feature of the facility is an exhibition space contained within a multifaceted glass enclosure inserted into a rigid rectilinear space. Several triangular voids generated between the contrasting forms serves as functional corridors and establishes its dynamic identity.
Within the exhibition space, 9 bespoke display tables lined with gravel infused plaster evokes the raw state of ceramic. The clients core technologies are explained and illustrated in detail through AR-capable tablets and large-scale video projection. Level of privacy required for various scenarios are controlled though electrochromic films applied to all glass surfaces within the facility.
The principal proposition of the project is to propose a distinctive spatial composition that attempts to break the rigid image of a conventional working environment. The multifaceted crystalline form of the exhibition space generated voids that possessed great flexibility and make reference to the client’s corporate identity of crystallizing ceramic at a nano scale.
Yotsuya, Tokyo, Japan
The project provides a new high-end organic chocolate ball shop in Yotsuya for Choci Tokyo. Carefully crafted by French chocolatiers, the products are free of additives and do not use any coloring or preservatives. The quality of the product is extremely high and most noticeable is the rich variety of colors they produce.
Fundamental to the project was the opportunity to complement their product's unique character through design. To attract passersby, the rich color and texture of the different flavors are celebrated and visually conveyed.
Our approach was to make the products the material that shaped the interior, rather than being placed on the shelves once the project had been completed. A total of 40 acrylic tubes containing 20 types of flavors form a colonnade of Choci throughout the entire length of the store. These bespoke dispensers enable customers to choose their favorite flavors to take home and enrich the shopping experience.
The Choci’s are produced at the rear of the store, partly visible through the semi-transparent reflective film applied to the glass partition. Due to the film's reflectivity, the shop appears to be twice the size as the vivid colonnade continues through into the kitchen. This simple design intervention provides the deep and narrow shop less than 35m2 an uplifting rhythm. The shop's atmosphere changes dramatically with the four seasons and various festivities in Japan, depending on the various flavors in stock.
※Project with Kevin Clement (Kakizoe & Clement LLP)
Photography © Vincent Hecht