Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

 

Studio Velocity has achieved a delicate balance of gravity and tension in their design for Sannouno’s office in Okazaki city, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The studio has topped the open plan, timber structure with an impossibly thin, gravity-defying inhabitable roof. Standing on top of this undulating surface, one may easily forget they are in a densely packed residential area. Instead, they become immersed within a softly sloping park, surrounded by the lush greenery that shoots out of the top of the building.

The ground floor unfolds without strict spatial distinction. Spaces flow into another with a high level of transparency. Work zones fall between a sea of seemingly randomly dispersed columns whose thin proportions appear inadequate to support the roof structure sitting above. Interiors unfold with a sense of delicate refinement, the direct result of the understated structural system. The whole project is wrapped with warm wood – from the columns to the built-in bookcase and sloped ceiling. The repetitiveness of the material creates an aesthetic and an enviable work environment. A glass wrapped façade invites warm light in from the street, while small exterior gardens dotted across the floor plan invite nature directly into the workday.

 

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

Sanno Office in Okazaki by Studio Velocity, Japanese Architecture | Yellowtrace

 

Studio Velocity wanted to achieve a very thin roof with a flat-cross section, a design that would seemingly be defying gravity. Reinforced concrete and curved steel keel structural systems, delivering a thicker slab, were avoided. Instead, a prestressed structure was employed, the assumed maximum load pulled in advance then fixed in place, allowing for a delicate, thin slab and an extra-fine column system.

The upper floor – a small glass-clad box perched on the roof, features a small communal kitchen and dining area that opens onto the rooftop. A series of opening cut holes in the white floor allow the trees below to continue growing upward.

Despite being nestled between a collection of homes, there is a sense of privacy due to the building’s curved form – a small green oasis within the residential area. A very special office space we would all love to work from.

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