Soundbooths? Textile dividers? How about rebar as an open-office partition?
In open-plan offices, meeting rooms are usually partitioned via walls and doors. Such layout serves to ensure privacy and soundproof these spaces the rest of the workplace. Not at this 33-year-old office building in Tokyo, formerly used for warehousing and R&D: here, the spot used for meetings, lectures and discussions is divided only by the steel bars typically used to strengthen reinforced concrete.
Designed by Organic Design Architecture, the 150-sq-m corner was renovated to attract new corporate tenants. And, also, solve a design problem: to allow the passage of airflow in any corner of the space from the central air conditioning, which is why the firm didn’t go for perforated panels, mesh or louvers, but instead chose rebar.
The interactive partitioning of this corner of the office will disperse the lively, sophisticated conversations we hope will happen here
‘Aesthetically, the rebar partitions the room while allowing light, airflow and a sense of others’ presence through, as a subtle wall that links the room to the larger space,’ said Organic Design Studio’s Hideo Kumaki.
Soothing light blue sets the tone in the inner area, with the main area set apart by the white, crystalline structure of bars in the background. ‘As we envision it, the interactive partitioning of this corner of the office will disperse the lively, sophisticated conversations we hope will happen here,’ he added.