Location: Tokyo, Japan
Architect In Charge: Alastair Townsend, Kayoko Ohtsuki
Project Manager: Cosmos More
Main Contractor: Wakoh
Client: CDS K.K. – Tokyo
Area: 810 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of BAKOKO
Designing he Tokyo office of multinational recruitment specialists CDS was an opportunity to renew and maximize the value of their existing two-story premises. After appraising a full range of space use options, BAKOKO transformed the second floor into an efficient and modern workplace with a sleek and attractive facility for meetings and interviews below. The project was phased across the various floors of the building to mitigate disruption to the company’s day-to-day operations.
CDS’s globally diverse workforce challenged us to create a more collaborative work space straddling Western and Japanese office cultures. As is typical in Japan, staff work long hours at their desks, but they are highly engaged amongst their specialist teams. We challenged our client to break free their old cubicle culture by creating greater transparency. The new openness fosters spontaneous communication and creates an important visual link from the desk to greenery outside.
A diversity of relaxed work and meeting spaces creates opportunities to move and interact throughout the day. The central copy/meeting point fosters short team huddles; the generous window sofa area encourages casual meetings away from the desk, so as not to disturb working colleagues; and an attractive pantry and lounge blurs the boundary between breaks and productive meetings.
A feeling of openness and “buzz” was achieved by removing the stuffy suspended acoustical tiled ceiling. Custom-made wooden lighting fixtures project light upward as well as downward, to reflect diffuse light off the exposed concrete slabs. A round central meeting room is comprised of an elegant timber frame supporting polycarbonate walls to enclose more sensitive internal meetings.
On the ground floor, a steady stream of candidates typically arrive for private interviews well into the evening. Making a positive impression is not only important for candidates. CDS also sought to portray itself through a a clean, modern, and stylish atmosphere. As we worked closely with top management, assessing and mediating their diverse needs and flows through design became a central theme. Thirteen meeting rooms – some of which can be reconfigured into a 60-seat conferencing facility – offer a variety of meeting formats and ambiences. The rounded silver “core” is encircled by a black racing strip: a loop that transports candidates along their career journey without any dead ends.