SO&CO is pushing the boundaries, quite literally, with the creation of a 2.7-meter-wide office block in Tokyo. It’s been slotted into a narrow alley between two buildings and contains five minute, concrete workspaces. Named the Multi-Tenant Building, it’s situated on an L-shaped plot in Ginza, one of Tokyo’s most prominent shopping districts.
It has a smooth, concrete façade that is unassuming due to its size and simplicity, yet bold in its divergence from the more conventional and drab buildings that surround the office. It can’t be missed, an ironic consequence that is characteristic of the prevalent compact dwellings scattered across the Japanese metropolis.
Therefore, the Multi-Tenant Building manifests SO&CO’s desire to create an “iconic building” that is representative of Ginza’s fashionable and attractive aesthetic.
In order to maximize usable space within the confines of the site, SO&CO divided the building into two connected volumes, one that faces the street coupled with an enveloping, L-shaped structure.
The office’s entrance is demarcated by a narrow walkway that leads into a vestibule that evokes the character of the alley that’s been replaced. The concrete interior and wide windows on both sides highlight this illusion.
A bright circulation space lies at the heart of the structure connecting the two volumes through a four-story staircase. Lined with complimenting glass walls, this space also serves as a light well due to an overhead skylight.
As a result, each of the office spaces are able to receive ample amounts of natural light. The exposed concrete interiors of the offices contrast the light and airy stairwell, which serves to designate private and shared space.
Making the most out of an incredibly tight situation, SO&CO’s Multi-Tenant Building has efficiently carved out usable space. How enjoyable it actually is to be within the 2.7-meter-wide confines of this structure is another question.
Skinny buildings like this may only increase in number as cities around the world increase in density. In other words, let’s enjoy our leg room while we can.
All images via Takumi Ota