Cybernet Systems Co. Ltd – Tokyo Headquarters
Cybernet Systems Co. Ltd is a world leader in CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) supporting industrial production. It provides advanced business solutions that exploit computer technology as a contribution to society. Established with the aim of creating a broad community through innovation and digital solutions, the company headquarters are housed in the Fuji Soft Akihabara Building in Tokyo.
THE CONCEPT: The Cybernet headquarters were designed according to the traditional Japanese architectural concept of flexibility, aiming to promote personnel well-being and interpersonal relations while incentivising productivity. This design was developed by MBA Matteo Belfiore Architecture (LINK) and Shukoh (LINK), in synergy with the Cybernet management, aiming to create close links between the project design and the corporate values. A minimalist design and extreme attention to detail are the fundamental aspects of the project. Based on the principle that natural light is able to foster well-being and productivity in the work place, an open layout was chosen, with transparent partition walls promoting interpersonal relations, cooperation and sharing, as well as the possibility of adapting each work station to suit individual needs. Well-being and creativity, along with flexibility and technology, are the distinctive features of the project.
THE DESIGN LAYOUT: The office area is divided into two main areas. The first, called the “Cyber-garden”, is reminiscent of a Japanese stone garden, and aims to welcome visitors and present the company values and products. Furnishings that bring to mind the shapes of nature, a lounge area and various meeting and seminar rooms follow on in succession between light, transparent partition walls. The second area is reserved for staff, and is in turn divided into three areas, separated by waiting areas with a “forest” theme: a quite work area for concentration, an area for discussions and team work, and a freely available relaxation space. The work stations are designed to optimise the spaces, with a range of options promoting the well-being of the workers. High tables and adjustable stools, flexible desks, modular, adjustable seating, lower tables and counters are positioned to match individual needs with the equipment, ensuring maximum personal comfort.
THE STRATEGIES: The renovation project is based on five design strategies and numerous technical innovations.
1. INTEGRATION Creativity and “Made in Italy” quality blend with flexible Japanese minimalist design. All the design choices, including materials and finishes, as well as the furnishings and the flora, were made with this winning combination in mind.
2. INNOVATION Tailor-made technologies, high-tech elements and solutions increasing operator safety all underline the attention to quality of life in the work place. And this is where the role of the FIANDRE Architectural Surfaces brand comes into play, with ACTIVE SURFACESTM, the photo-catalytic ceramic surfaces with antimicrobial and anti-pollution action that not only eliminate bad odours but are also extremely easy to clean. Recent tests have also demonstrated that ACTIVE SURFACESTM are 94% effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. A considerable result, achieved in just 4 hours of exposure to low-intensity UV light. The surfaces of the URBAN ACTIVE SURFACESTM collection were chosen for the flooring at Cybernet, as well as for the Unifor table tops in the meeting rooms, in this case in the colour UNI.ICE ACTIVE SURFACESTM. To demonstrate the active effectiveness of ACTIVE SURFACESTM, the Chemistry Department of the University of Milan has estimated that around 440 m2 of ACTIVE SURFACESTM flooring is able to eliminate 0.6 kg of NOx per year, a benefit that is equivalent to 400 m2 of green area. And in terms of effectiveness in fighting VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and bad odours, the action of ACTIVE SURFACESTM produces over 5,000 m3 of clean air every day. The project also involves the use of other advanced technologies, including the materials Fenix NTM, Variofold by Hawa, Organoid Natural Surfaces and Parete RP by Unifor, designed by Renzo Piano with a view to the efficient and rational organisation of the work spaces.
3.FLEXIBILITY The Activity Based Working (ABW) concept is implemented in this project by maintaining a flexible layout and using adaptable furnishings, for instance by changing the combination of the various elements or adjusting the height and inclination of the furniture. Modularity and customisation complete this concept, designed for easy adaptation and frequent changes in use, even during the same day. 4. SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability is a crucial aspect of this project, and is summed up in four concepts: minimalism, quality, modularity and naturalness. We are therefore talking of full optimisation of spaces, the reduction of superfluous elements, durable materials and furnishings and products with easily replaceable components. All the furnishings and finishing materials, obtained from natural raw materials, are recyclable. 5. BIO-WELL-NESS Inspired by Nature, the Cybernet project is based on biophilic design and WELL construction standards. The concept of BIO-WELL-NESS, which permeates every aspect of this place, is based on the following macro-concepts: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Various strategies have been adopted to ensure the presence of all these elements: maximum inflow of natural light, ergonomic work spaces, areas for relaxation and social interaction, the connection between humans and nature fostered by the approach to biophilic design, where shapes, colours, perfumes and materials evoke nature even in the work place. The flora, materials and furnishings were chosen in line with this harmonious approach. The spaces are pervaded by a sense of peace and harmony, made possible thanks to the targeted choice of surfaces, textures, fragrances and special sound-proofing systems. THE FURNISHINGS The choice of low-density staff distribution in the offices is the result of new social distancing policies, and was made possible thanks to the intelligent distribution of the spaces, as well as a conscious reduction of the storage area. “High-quality” materials and “human-centred” furnishings with an ergonomic design were chosen to guarantee the health and best comfort possible for the operators. Famous design brands contributed to the project with innovative, quality furnishing elements. The choice of customised materials and finishes creates a unique and precious design. One brilliant example of tailor-made furnishings is the Naòs series of tables by Unifor - designed by Studio Cerri & Associati, which won the Compasso d’Oro industrial design award in 2004 – reinterpreted here in an eco-active key thanks to the presence of the UNI.ICE ACTIVE SURFACESTM used for the tops. A fundamental contribution to making the meeting room tables safer and more hygienic, with the constant protection of ACTIVE, 24/7.
SIZE: 1000 m2
LOCATION: Akihabara, Tokyo
CLIENT: CYBERNET SYSTEMS, CO., LTD. (www.cybernet.jp)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: (www.shukoh.co.jp)
PROJECT BY: MBA Matteo Belfiore Architecture (www.matteobelfiore.com)
ROLE: Matteo Belfiore - Project leader
TEAM: Matteo Belfiore, Elisa Cecchetti, Hajime Hachii, Tomohiro Fujita, Daiki Chiku, Daisuke Miyata
SERVICES PROVIDED: Interior design, Graphic design, Product design
PHOTOS: Lamberto Rubino (www.lambertorubino.it)
BRANDS: ADWorld, Arper, Artek, Fenix, Fiandre, Hawa, HitoHana, Kokuyo, Magis, Organoids, Shukoh, Six-inch, Unifor, Vitra.