SDK Kumamoto Building | NIKKEN SEKKEI

Channeling the environment to create a vessel for regional development

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Release Time: October 13, 2021
PROJECT CREDITS

Facility Name : SDK Kumamoto Building

Location : Kumamoto City, Japan

Client : Seibu Electric Industry

Site area : 3,303.46㎡

Building area : 2,247.42㎡

Total floor area : 10,143.10㎡

Maximum height : 29.08m

Number of floors : 6 floors

Structure : Steel structure

Photographer:SS

Construction period: March 2018 - September 2019

JapanKumamoto

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Architecture as Legacy

SDK Kumamoto Building offers tenants a convenient, comfortable work environment, as well as a splendid view of Kumamoto Joh, one of Japan's most famous medieval castles. The building was constructed on the site formerly occupied by Seibu Electric Industry, a long-established ICT Kyushu firm, which relocated to Fukuoka. The owner's philosophy for this project: contribute to the local community by emphasizing vitality. To do this, the building needed to become an indispensable part of the neighborhood, but also profitable by garnering consistent patronage.

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The Office Plan: deference to the local economy

Kumamoto City bustles with corporate branch offices, hosts many small-scale tenants, and also fields demand for rental of the entire floor by call centers and other businesses. Responding to this meant creating a highly flexible tenancy leasing plan. The building was designed to accomodate further tenancy area expansion by even allowing for the removal of corridor boundary walls. This allows for office space that can be leased in a variety of ways.

The parking lot plan reflects the local needs of car-centric Kumamoto City. In Japan, mechanically operated tower parking is the norm for medium-sized office buildings. But the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, which disabled vehicle retrieval out of such structures, forced a re-think. The result was the installation of a much safer conventional parking lot. A car rental business was also incorporated on the first floor, and the 3F office floor can be accessed directly as an innovative “drive-in office.”

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Pursuing a Workplace Uniquely Suited to Kumamoto

Sunlight is intense in Kumamoto, therefore appropriate countermeasures were one of the most important points of this project. These were tailored to meet tenant needs in areas located on the south and west sides of the building, where a sense of openness can also be ensured. For example, the south side eaves depth is set to prevent direct sunlight from entering the building from 2pm to 4pm in the summer. For the west side, which features the Kumamoto Castle view, BIM simulation was employed to achieve a balance between a sense of freedom, heat load, and window surface luminosity. Diagonal shading panels were fitted to the outside of the vision glass to reduce the solar heat load while preserving the unobstructed view. Porous curved shading panels with small holes were also deployed on the exterior to reduce direct sunlight by 40% while maintaining brightness.

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Heat and light were not the only concerns that factored into the building plan; Kumamoto City’s more than 2,000mm of average annual rainfall gave birth to the idea of sandblasting all concrete surfaces to afford a natural “textured” look that would prevent rain stains from standing out. The shading panels and pillars are also made of uneven cast aluminum to ensure panel strength and high weather resistance while minimizing the use of fastners and substrate. The eaves, which can be seen from the office, were installed with a washed-out finish, which will add texture to the building over time.

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The site’s location in the fashionable Kamino-Ura district, with its many alleys, provided the grist to create a common area for meandering and discovery. Various components of the building’s core that are typically placed together are intentionally dispersed, resulting in a structure akin to a town alleyway. The ground floor plaza at the end of Namikizaka-dori is the marquee area where all the activities there are on display.

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In addition, in consideration of the slower work style due to distance from the city center, a common area space was installed to support a variety of activities. The approach here was to create new work styles by providing a full range of support spaces -- a refreshment corner with an open kitchen, high-counter equipped hallways, free meeting rooms, etc. Combined with natural lighting, seasonal plants and greenery, the effort yielded a more natural feeling office environment.

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An icon for regional revitalization

The project area has long prospered in the shadow of nearby Kumamoto Castle, as the site lies at the nexus of the busy Kamidori and Namikizaka streets, as well as Niou-san Street, a former stately temple area. The project’s theme, "Time & Space Connection," was based on these attributes, and aimed to portray continuity between the region’s history and its peculiar features. The piloti space, which serves as a link between Namiki-zaka and Niou-san-dori, becomes a town-friendly stage and a hub for fun and excitement on event days.

The building’s exterior design, with its shading panels reminiscent of roof tiles, rafters and colonnades in the temple/shrine architectural motif, is a temporal tie-in that imparts to posterity the feel of a traditional “teramachi” (a city block dense with temples and shrines).

It is our fervent hope that this project gives ample highlight to the area’s admirable local features, and grows to be a beloved icon by all.

© NIKKEN SEKKEI

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# Architecture Design # 办公建筑 # 办公楼 # 租赁式办公楼

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