Metal Office by Takashi Yamaguchi & associates

A metal block floating above the site

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Takashi Yamaguchi & associates for providing the following description:


The site is in Kansai Science City, a center for cultural and scientific research currently under development among lush green hills at the junction of Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka, an area rich in history, cultural, and natural beauty. Kansai Science City has been conceived as a model city for the 21st century that will rank in scale with Tsukuba Science City. Nearby are the Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library, the basic and applied research facilities of major corporations, and an upper scale residential district. Employing the three-meter difference in level between the site and road, I made the slope a garden and placed the building above it. In the sloped garden, bamboo, planted parallel to the building at a short distance, softly encloses the exterior space of the entrance. To the rear, on a boundary with adjacent property, a hedge articulates the boundary and hides a parking lot dug into the earth.The client is a high-tech company engaged in the R&D and importing of precision metal parts. The program called for a building that would perform as a company emblem, taking its image from the precision parts the company handles. Here, I conceived of a simple mass covered with metal panels on exterior walls and even on interior floors, walls, and ceilings.

▼上部金属板下部为磨砂玻璃的建筑外观,the office with metal on the upper and frosted glass on the lower


In order to lighten the presence of the building when viewed from the road, I have made only the upper portion a rectangular metal mass, while employing frosted glass in the lower portion so the building will seem to float on its site. To do this, I took a simple rectangular mass covered with metal, 35m wide, 12.1m deep, and 7.9m high, sliced it, and slid the upper and lower portions south and north. The resulting upper and lower blank spaces I filled in with frosted-glass and metal-fabric volumes. The lower blank space became an entrance lobby and showroom, and the upper one received the function of a balcony. Two voids pierce the rectangular metal volume, above and below, in a north-south direction. The lower void functions as a ramp connecting the front road with the parking lot to the rear. In the upper void, I have placed a conference room enjoying openness and beautiful views.

▼下部空间作为入口和陈列室,上部空间作为露台,the lower blank space became an entrance lobby and showroom, and the upper one received the function of a balcony


▼入口空间-室内对比丰富的空间,the entrance area-the interior spaces are in rich contrast

▼连接入口的展览空间,the showroom connects the entrance

All office rooms have been located on the south side for good daylighting and exterior views, with passageways and stairs on the north. The entrance faces on the ramp for ease in carrying goods in and out, with storage space and research labs situated on the first floor. Passing through the entrance hall, a space filled with dazzling milky light, one ascends a darkened stairway to the second floor. Opening a door at the end of a semi-dark passageway, one enters the conference room and confronts a panoramic view of mountains in a space enjoying natural light and openness.

▼昏暗的楼梯和二层空间,a darkened stairway to the second floor

▼楼梯空间细节,stairs details

▼具有周边山脉全景视野的会议室,conference room has a panoramic view of mountains

▼工作人员可以在会议室尽情的享受光线,workers can enjoy natural light in the space


In the design of this building, I sought to satisfy the demands of the program within the context of the building’s relationship with its surroundings. At the same time, I sought to arrange spaces of contrasting character, light and dark,open and closed, in varying states of continuity and discontinuity. This, I felt, would enhance the overall potential of the building and provide a highly functional and comfortable environment. People working here will move through spaces of rich contrast, conscious of the incremental changes effected in the interior by external natural phenomena, and thus enjoy an atmosphere richly stimulating for research and development.

▼建筑夜景,night view


▼南立面&东立面,south&east elevation


Project name: Metal Office
Design: Takashi Yamaguchi & associates
Contact e-mail:
Design year : 2002-2003
Completion Year : 2004
Leader designer: Jun Murata
Project location: Kyoto, Japan
Gross Built Area: 800㎡
Photo credits: Jun Murata
Clients: Dynamic Tools Corporation

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