Masaaki Takahashi -- Interior Design, 11/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Scattered throughout a building in Tokyo's Roppongi tech hub, Fuji Xerox Co.'s nine levels total 176,000 square feet—all completed in only four months. However, the fast-track project looks anything but rushed. And extra care is apparent on the two levels dedicated to client meetings. Starting from a futuristic oval reception area, visitors can proceed past a curved wall enlivened by a graphic history of printing. Spaces flow comfortably, and focal areas on these two levels feature curving lines to suggest the double helix of DNA. "The ultimate copy," says design principal Steve Louie.
On office floors, a "collaboration area" is surrounded by open work zones and break-out lounges—environments that Japanese managers seldom support. Because of these common areas, in fact, the square footage available for the sales and marketing staff's workstations is considerably smaller than equivalent space at the company's previous home. But executives, newly converted, believe that the design will boost productivity.
Have to see it to believe it? Japanese curiosity to witness these unusual space-planning concepts in action, on such a large scale, has made the Fuji Xerox installation a veritable tourist attraction. Since its opening, student groups and hundreds of others have visited just to take a look.
In reception, glass floor panels up-lit by fluorescents encircle vinyl flooring, a custom console of steel and resin-impregnated fabric, and a Philippe Starck sofa.
From top: Wire-mesh partitions define a café-style meeting space on an office level. A client waiting lounge is furnished with Stefano Giovannoni's stools.
From top: Another office level's "collaboration area" features maple veneer for built-ins and solid maple for tabletops and chair seats. Depicting the history of printing, a vinyl mural curves past the glass enclosure of a showroom for new copiers and other products.
PROJECT MANAGER: MASAHIRO IWATA. PROJECT TEAM: TADASHI AYUSAWA; HISAKO SHINOZAKI; KAORI TAKEDA. SOFA (RECEPTION): KARTELL. VINYL FLOORING (RECEPTION, WAITING LOUNGE): LONSEAL CORPORATION. CUSTOM SIGNAGE (RECEPTION), CUSTOM MURAL (SHOWROOM): KOBAYASHI KOGEISHA. TABLES (CAF SPACE): UCHIDA YOKO CO. CHAIRS: WISE-WISE. PENDANT FIXTURES (CAF SPACE), FLOOR LAMP (COLLABORATION AREA): ENDO-LIGHTING CO. FLOORING (CAF SPACE, COLLABORATION AREA): TAJIMA. STOOLS (WAITING LOUNGE): MAGIS. CHAIRS (WAITING LOUNGE, COLLABORATION AREA): RITZWELL CO. ROUND TABLES: OKAMURA CORPORATION. CARPET (COLLABORATION AREA, SHOWROOM): TOLI INTERNATIONAL. CHAIR (SHOWROOM): KEILHAUER. COVE LIGHTING: NIPPO ELECTRIC CO. CEILING FIXTURES: MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC WORKS. PAINT: BENJAMIN MOORE CO. MEP: NIHON SEKKEI. GENERAL CONTRACTORS: MITSUI FUDOSAN BUILDING MANAGEMENT CO.; NISHIMATSU CONSTRUCTION CO.