Located in one of Japan’s industrial hubs of Osaka is Nakanishi Metal Works, a company that manufactures metal components like bearings that go into basically any machine that rotates. Their parts go into every single shinkansen.
The company is 95 years old and, given their industry and location, not exactly who you think of as a forerunner of modern, collaborative workspaces. But stereotypes are made to be broken, and that’s exactly what this company did when they decided to convert their 100-year old wooden warehouse into a beautiful space where employees could come together and share ideas.
Nakanishi Metal Works employs roughly 3500 employees across multiple business lines that are typically physically siloed from one another in different but neighboring offices. Meanwhile, the company also had a 100-year old disused wooden warehouse. So an idea was floated to renovate and convert the space into a park where employees could meet, share ideas and brainstorm together.
The company brought in architect Takeshi Hamada of Hamada Design, who not only made sure that the space was structurally sound but that it would foster the type of meetings that occur in a neighborhood park. They named the space Cross Park.
Cross Park consists of multiple spaces within that can function as their own little ecosystem. Walking paths extend throughout, touching and connecting each of the spaces, where employees are meeting, presenting or sometimes just working alone.