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.

Park Residence
Shin-Okachimachi, Tokyo, Japan

The Park Residence is a 95m2, 4-story residence for a married couple, nestled within a very confined space between two buildings in the commercial district of Shin-Okachimachi, Tokyo. The district is well known for the concentration of small workshops and narrow alleyways. At the back of this site, we discovered a row of old timber framed houses facing a 1.5m wide path that was well preserved. As glimpses of daily activities that took place along this path were visible from the main street, we decided to intentionally reveal this rich urban condition by introducing a visual passage through our building at ground level.

 

The site measuring 30㎡and 3.7m wide is extremely small and narrow. Added to this, the site boundary is only 50mm away from the neighboring wall at the tightest point. The steel frame profiles were reduced to their absolute minimum of 100mmx100mm with exposed structural bracing to maximize the usable floor area internally. Due to the limited footprint, the building utilizes a split-level arrangement in order to maximize usable area and each floor is connected by an open tread staircase. This extremely compact design gives the impression of living on landings of a large staircase.

 

The façade uses ribbed extruded cement panels that subtly reference the local vernacular, consisting of autoclaved lightweight aerated concrete and corrugated iron sheets. As it reaches the more private and intimate part of the building at the top, the number of light fixtures per floor is gradually reduced. This gentle transition enables residents to gradually relax as they move up towards their private sleeping quarter.

※Project in collaboration with Frank la Rivière, Architects

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Photographs by Kakizoe Architects