Design Studio Blank

all images by Toshiyuki Yano | click to enlarge

If big American businesses like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo have invested in insane offices for their employees, how can the modern Japanese office compare?

With sparse elegance, seamlessness, and an incredibly postmodern aesthetic all neatly tied together, of course. Meet Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio’s new office space, called Pillar Grove, in Nagoya City.


Huge windows let light stream freely throughout the building

The building’s exterior offers a dynamic break from the surrounding cityscape of tiled roofs. The atmosphere within offers inhabitants a meditative and expansive work space. Mamiya Shinichi skilfully contrasts pillars and slabs to create a refreshing environment that can shift according to staff’s needs.

Pillar Grove is an inviting structure that easily holds potential to be a busy bookstore, bustling cafe, or quiet library. This is what happens when one innovative team of Japanese architects put their heads together to solve a design problem. Based out of Nagoya City, and boasting a Tokyo studio, these designers promote urban development through innovative interior and architectural design. Led by Director Mamiya Shinichi and Vice President Nagata Yoshitomo, twelve dedicated designers collaborate and strive to fashion new modes of living.

This postmodern building is created entirely with wood and cement. Working with a simple concept: pillar + slab + facade, the architects manipulate form and light to mimic a bamboo grove, producing an ingenious way for people to produce and create inside a building as if they were embedded in nature. Raw wooden pillars shoot straight up at intervals within the room, echoing the aesthetic of being surrounded by towering trees in a Japanese bamboo grove.



Within this exceptional space, staff can opt for an minimalistic feel, or go for a more practical look by constructing simple bookshelves between the pillars



Mamiya Shinichi designers hard at work, in their lovely new workspace. Walking around the office, climbing up the various ladders to visit coworkers, and skirting around long banquet-style work tables are stellar ways for staff to get a quick work out between design projects.


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The way the pillars and slabs are arranged determines the way the space is arranged within the building while the facade invites passersby to gaze within, (and vice versa). The building is not exceptionally tall by any means, but just imagine the view! At the end of a long work day, it must be pleasant for Mamiya Shinichi staff nestled inside Pillar Grove to peer out onto the sleepy city through those large windows.

Pillar Grove at Night

The studio at dusk