The Tokyo office of multinational recruitment specialists CDS, was an opportunity to maximize the value of their existing two-story premises and transform it into an efficient and modern workplace on the floor above with an attractive facility for meetings and interviews below.
The company’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 the old cubicle culture by creating greater transparency to foster spontaneous communication, as well a diversity of relaxed work and meeting spaces. 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 ceiling. Custom-made wooden lighting fixtures project light upward as well as downward, to reflect diffuse light off the exposed ceiling. 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 arrive for interviews well into the evening. As we worked closely with top management, assessing and mediating these 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.
Visiting interviewees feel that their career is about to take-off as they walk around the circular “racing-strip” corridor surrounding the central “core” interview rooms.