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.
Renovation of an organic food restaurant located in the heart of Milan, Italy. The client’s ambition was to create a restaurant that would allow customers to indulged in fresh local produce and fine organic wine and at the same time be taught how to cook healthier meals. The restaurant provides daily cooking classes by chefs and nutritionists to promote a healthy diet.
Our response to this unique brief was to bring the act of food preparation to the forefront of the visitor's experience and the activities centered around the communal cooking table. The design of this space is intended to stand in contrast to the visual overload of the surrounding city scape by adopting a calming and primitive spatial approach in its atmosphere.
The idea is to create an interior landscape of carved-out and interconnected spaces built from a reduced palette of sprayed aggregate infused stucco and tailor-made terrazzo. This emphasizes the materials earthiness while offering the impression of navigating through an undiscovered cave. Following the demolition of internal partitions, the discovery of a series of existing arches enabled us to use the existing structure to establish hierarchy within the internal space.
The scales of the sculpted niches are purposely varied to allow the customers to experience various levels of intimacy within the restaurant. The arched thresholds that form the niches provide a sense of transition while preserving the restaurant-wide visual permeability. Our hope is that this restaurant overtime will become more than just a place to eat but also a place to promote a healthy diet through community engagements.
Visualisation by Kakizoe Architects