August 9, 2019

Organic Design Architecture Studio Shows Off Rebar’s Appeal in a Tokyo Office

The team assembled stools with bases in various tones of powder-coated steel to play on the rebar’s angles. Photography by Y. Okamura.

Nothing compares to rebar when it comes to creating physical strength as a reinforcement for concrete or masonry. But as the Saitama, Japan-based firm Organic Design Architecture Studio discovered, it can make quite a strong visual impression, too. When asked to revitalize a 1,600-square-foot corner of an unused floor in a 33-year-old rental office building in Tokyo, ODAS architects Hideo Kumaki and Yuichi Tada decided to take advantage of the inherent geometry and elegance of the material.

Rows of Jorge Pensi Design Studio’s Ara chairs by Pedrali deepen the blue mood. Photography by Y. Okamura.

“Our intent was to let internal conversations that drive company activities—lectures, discussions, brainstorming, and so on—spill out naturally through the mesh of steel bars,” says Kumaki. The result? “An office designed for pervasive dynamism,” adds Kumaki.

Signage in strong fuchsia and yellow catch the eye while coordinating with the interior’s textile space dividers. Photography by Y. Okamura.

A clarifying palette of bold blue and crisp white offers a modern take on a blank slate. “The space was envisioned to encourage overflow instead of separation,” Kumaki says, “which through the chemistry between the work done inside and outside here, may foster the creative growth of a corporate tenant.” An added bonus: The mesh keeps the building’s central air conditioning flowing, which is a very cool idea indeed.

Tajima’s vinyl composition tile covers the floors. Photography by Y. Okamura.
While the rebar naturally forms grids, it can also form graceful arches, as in the entryways. Photography by Y. Okamura.
A pink panel with embedded LEDs is a natural home for a corporate identity. Photography by Y. Okamura.

Read more: Four Firms Elevating the Workplace Design Game

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