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.
Located on the foothills of the Japanese Alps, the silk factory is a three-bedroom private residence for a couple and their three young children. Surrounded by vineyards and perched atop tall stone retaining walls, on a clear sunny day, the site offers picturesque views of Mt. Fuji.
Inspired by the local village planning and vernacular, the project was conceived as a cluster of four small-scale volumes that stagger and interlock to create a human-scale experience. The scale of each articulated volume is determined by its varying functions and is carefully composed and oriented to minimize overlooking. By uniting the individual volumes under an overarching roof with a distinctive silhouette, a sense of community and connectivity is born.
In order to create a seamless connection with the existing character of the village, we essentially created a small village within the village while preserving a human scale experience at grade. The buildings volumetric and material character takes their cue from the local vernacular, consisting of weathered timber houses and pitched roof silhouettes. The outer walls are lined in Yaki-Sugi (charred cedar) evoking the textures and atmosphere of the village.
A reduced palette of oak floors and natural stone floors provide a simple and functional aesthetic internally.The carefully positioned window openings focus on the beauty of the surroundings, evoking joy by framing views of the expansive garden and the Japanese Alps.
※Project in collaboration with Tokuichiro Oba
Visualisation by Kakizoe Architects