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.
Built on Hakone's hillside, a former corporate dormitory is converted into a private villa overlooking the Hakone Country Club and the mountain ranges beyond. Due to its original purpose and being built on a hill, the existing building has a split-level arrangement and divided into numerous compact rooms and corridors.
Significant amount of internal partitions is removed while preserving the structural stability of the reinforced concrete structure to provide generous space for each function inside the villa. The idea was to create an interior landscape of interconnected spaces that would provide a seamless boundary between each function.
Voids are cut into the existing floor slabs, creating a large connect space between the building's top three levels. This establishes a subtle hierarchy within the building as it provides a sense of visual permeability across the terraced floors. The juxtaposition of activities within the building becomes a key feature of this design, and as one moves down the building, a subtle transition from public to private can be experienced.
Uninterrupted views of the mountain ranges and nature provide the ideal backdrop to the large hall with an open kitchen, dining area and lounge. An extended balcony along the hall provides a seamless transition from inside to outside, making it a perfect place for outdoor dining.
※Project in collaboration with Bocs
Visualisation by Kakizoe Architects