Japanese design studio Nendo has completed a set of mirrored interiors for a cafe and workplace in Tokyo’s Kenzo Tange-created Sogetsu Kaikan building (+ slideshow).

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo The Sogetsu Kaikan building in central Tokyo was designed by Kenzo Tange

Clad in mirrored glass, the Sogetsu Kaikan building was created by influential 20th century Japanese architect Kenzo Tange in 1977, replacing a smaller arts centre he had built on the exact same website. The architect’s very own offices were housed on the 10th floor.

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo

“It is mainly characterized by its half-mirrored curtain wall exterior, reflecting the greenery from the Akasaka Estate opposite, and its planar construction, allowing for a clear and unobstructed see by diagonally cutting via its L-shaped lines of flow,” explained Nendo.

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Tange, described by Nendo as “one particular of the pioneers of present day Japanese architecture”, died in 2005. He was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1987 for his function, which includes the Tokyo 1964 Olympic stadium, which combined Modernism and standard Japanese design and style.

Nendo’s design replicates aspects of the exterior of the arts centre with its workplace interiors, which feature mirrored panels and doors.

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo

“We have sought to come up with a layout inspired by the exterior aesthetics, rather than a style based mostly on interior functionality so often observed in workplace buildings,” explained the studio, which has also designed interiors for vogue brand Theory and footwear company Camper.

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The building’s L-shaped corridors are flanked by mirrored sections framed in black, which echo the building’s aluminium window frames. Pale wooden floors modify grain to indicate the relative position of the centre’s exterior reflective wall.


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A meeting area features a lengthy central table and an end wall with three floating shelves, whilst personal offices characteristic desks and aluminium benches.

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo

“We experimented broadly with a range of IR [infra red] reflecting and paints in order to precisely recreate the colouring of the unique half-mirrored exterior and sashes,” the studio commented.

“In order to accentuate the reflection of the half-mirror, the flooring materials has been fitted symmetrically in relation to the curtain wall,” it added. “The end result is an interior design that allows one to get a robust sense of the character and kind of the constructing as a whole.”

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo

The studio also updated a cafe located on the 2nd floor of the constructing, which even now featured interiors made by Tange in the 1970s.

The studio preserved the unique walls and ceilings and restored the current Eero Saarinen tulip chairs and tables.

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo

Tabletops have been covered with equivalent reflective materials to the mirrored ceiling, and a newly fitted floor extends up and onto the sides of glossy black counters.

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Nendo borrowed and stretched the n from the its own emblem to type a c-shaped symbol for the cafe.

Tableware also functions warped elements, such as the handles of mugs. Coffee stirrers have been made from tin so that their form will gradually change as they are utilized.

Mirrored office interiors by Nendo

In an interview in the course of Milan’s layout week, Nendo founder Oki Sato informed Dezeen that his prolific merchandise- and interior-design and style studio was managing practically 400 projects at a time. Its recent releases include house slippers shaped like wizard’s hats, expandable shelves, and a bag for carrying architects’ drawings.

Photography is by Daici Ano/Takumi Ota.


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