Takenaka Corporation constructed its Tokyo headquarters in 2004 (33,000m2 and 7 stories) with three major themes: 1) high efficiency (a high quality work place for employees); 2) green building; and 3) low cost solution (initial and total life cycle cost) (Figure 4). The implementation and convergence of these three aspirations turned the conventional office layout inside out by positioning more static core spaces along the periphery and opening the center up for communication and interaction, allowing the design to accommodate ongoing changes in office operations and environment. The dispersing of the centralized core created an open solution allowing for continuity (visual connection and access) between floors, spaces and nature through large light wells.
A key tactic was shifting to a 10.8m uniform-grid offering a low cost solution, which is typically used for shopping centres and parking – in contrast to the typical office span of 16-18m. The reduced column spacing is accompanied by external lateral bracing that creates a rigid shell and allows for a free internal space that was envisioned to incorporate future changes in use (e.g. a hotel or shopping centre). The openness of the space is complimented by a storey height of 4.1m with an open and protruding ceiling ranging from a minimum of 3.1m in height to a maximum of 3.8m providing a good acoustical environment.
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