Text description provided by the architects. Program
This office is a social incubating center for venture businessmen. It is sponsored by the nonprofit organization “Working Together Association”. Anybody who wants to start their own business can apply for geting a space at this center. The Working Together Association supply the office space and free consulting for six months until they can start their own business. The initiating person starts from the open office area with couple of members. Once they get more detailed business plan, the team move to the individual cell office.
There are four client’s requirements. First, they requested the office space for 180 workers in a given area of 680sqm. Second, the client need 5 meeting rooms, 15 individual cell offices with sound insulation, and open office area. Third, they want creative working environment. Four, they want to build this office with a very tight construction budget.
We started from the question; how to make the creative working environment? We get the answer from Harvard University Graduate School of Design Gund Hall space. Students at the Gund Hall can see other students’ works and stimulate each other in a single roof space. So, we conclude that open space enabling the people see each other is the creative space. Therefore, we made whole space is visually open and clear. We just use the glass partition for the sound insulation for the meeting room and individual cell offices. People in this incubating center can see what other teams are working on. And this environment stimulates each other’s imagination and gives more motivation for working.
We did not have big space for the design freedom. We need small but very intensive creative space. So we made “darkroom” for the person who wants to meditate for creative thinking. When we open our eyes, our consciousness is dominated by the visual experience. People in the darkroom can have only scent, touch and sound experience. This perception without the visual experience makes the people to have different thinking toward the world. And different experience gives people a better chance to have a new idea.
In order to maximize the use of the space, we divide the floor area into three zone; open office zone, meeting zone, and cell office zone. The linear meeting zone separates the two kinds of working area. The serial glass walls of meeting rooms create deep blue sea kind of spatial perception along the axis. The mirror wall at the end of the meeting zone makes the depth of the blue space double. Besides, we make the ceiling height as high as possible by using unused space at the ceiling space.
Transparency between Teams
Each business team is composed of 4~5 members. Therefore, the working area has to be zoned by five desk modular. The open office space has to be open and independent at the same time. To achieve this goal, the height and transparency of the partition wall are very critical. We set the partition wall at the 150cm high between the rows. And we divide the each row into two zones with movable screen, so workers can adjust the transparency according to their needs. Therefore, 5 members of a team can have an independent working environment with some of open quality.