In a new office building in Tokyo designed by nendo, a series of streamlined terraces do some multitasking by increasing productivity, providing relaxation spots for employees, aiding with natural ventilation and even turning into meeting rooms, as needed.
Tokyo – Biophillic design has strong defenders for a reason: bringing nature into the office has proved to increase employee happiness and productivity by at least 15 per cent. But what about bringing the office into nature? That’s what nendo did in the new Yokohama Ekimae Building, an eleven-storey project in the Japanese capital.
Instead of operating like a conventional building, with artificial climate control, the team of architects devised a series of integrated terraces that could function as ventilation hubs during the kinder months, and could transform into private meeting rooms in less clement weather, by closing a series of concealed doors and windows.
The external elements were taken into account to allow for a more physical experience of the outdoors
These units, which could have potentially been protruding, are seamlessly woven into the façade via a system of rails and pillars in the same size and wooden finish as the frontal elevation. ‘This reduces the flat and cold impression often seen in most office buildings,’ explained founder Oki Sato. And yet, even with this ingenious solution, the standout section in the structure is the Sky Forest, a three-storey space that incorporates lush greenery and functions as a calm hideaway for employees.
‘The external elements were taken into account to allow for a more physical experience of the outdoors, like witnessing the changing weather and yearly seasons,’ stated Sato.
In the office, biophillic treatments can play double duty, going beyond nice-to-have wellness enhancers to become integrated into conventional typologies, such as meeting rooms.