White Monolith


Tokyo, Japan





Floor area



Aki Hamada Architects (Aki Hamada, Takeshi Tanabe)






This is an office plan for WATCH specializing in art direction. The site has three open sides: the east side facing a highway with a wide and bright view, the west side facing the smoking area of the adjacent building, and the north side facing a building on the opposite side of the road. Our idea was to create a complex environment like a thicket, where you can feel the light coming in from the opening on the three sides, and objects and people come in and out of sight, but still feels connected. Further, the aim was to create a flow between the spaces to enhance communication through minimizing the borders of walls and floors or between rooms by the continuity/transition of materials.



To block the unobstructed view from one point, various sized shelves were discretely placed in a 45-degree angle on a grid, which created a multi-layered labyrinth like space. The shelf grid influenced the location of lighting and the transition of the floor material, indicating a virtual grid where the two different grids overlay. In addition, we planned a dynamic office space effecting one’s perception, such as vision and the sense of balance, by lifting the material continuing from the floor vertically to make the material cross the border of spaces, and also placing a white monolith-like abstract surface in a multi-layered manner.


The same lauan board was used for all of the finishing for frames, walls, floors and furniture, and simulated different substances by elaborate changes in various shaped corners, curvature and painting. The single material is free and independent from each element, such as floor, wall and furniture. The process is similar to simulating texture mapping and bumps in computer graphics. This project is an experiment referring to the new aesthetics born from the process of digital media.