Kojimachi Terrace, in Tokyo, is an office building with operable windows, terraces and a roof garden on the top three floors
Japanese studio Nendo designed an 11-story office building in the Kojimachi district in Tokyo, Kojimachi Terrace. The building aims at sustainability while creating an ambience that is different from traditional office buildings.
Large office buildings are usually closed off, with no openings, air exchange or windows from which you can see natural light, and are totally dependent on air conditioning and artificial lighting. Kojimachi Terrace has outdoor terraces on six out of eleven floors, which can be freely accessed and used by the people who work there. The terraces may also be used as meeting rooms by closing the doors and windows surrounding them.
The top three floors of the building host a lush roof garden called Sky Forest, brimming with plants, air and light, where the employees can go any time they want to enjoy fresh air and natural light.
For an 11-story building operable windows and terraces may cause safety issues. Nendo solved this problem with a grid of beams and pillars working as fall protection railings and supports for windows. This grid of rails and pillars follows the same pattern as the façade and relies on materials with a similar look, wood and steel with bronze finish.
The result is a homogenous grid that creates a uniform pattern throughout the building. Floors and walls are hand-finished to enhance their unevenness. Interior lighting is distributed along rails that mirror the grids that define the spaces, becoming from time to time the frames of the doors, the rails of the windows, decorative grids.
Kojimachi Terrace is an office building with natural air and light, plants, built around human beings. [Roberta Mutti]