w/ 015 ST

type: space / objects
function: office
location: shinagawa, tokyo
floor: 150m2
collaborator: y.ziliang(design/photo)
date: 2024.3


A project to install partitions in the office of a Chinese venture company to be newly established in Shinagawa. As the office will be moved in a few years, it was required to be able to easily restore the current state and to disassemble and reconstruct the partitions for the next office.

Site – 场所

1. The “sunset” on the east side, randomness in the cycle

The trajectory and incidence direction of the sun are continuous and predictable, but the glass panels of the skyscraper on the east side change angle slightly, so the reflected light of the sunset randomly shines into the interior. The curtain wall makes the trajectory of the reflected light of the sun as unpredictable as the stars in a three-body problem. The high-rise building on the east side becomes an optical experimental device on a city scale, and we stand by the window, waiting to see how the light path changes. We don’t know which window the light comes from or which figure will be projected on the interior.

2. Flowing Shinagawa, disappearing end point

This place itself is surrounded by a rapidly flowing world. Planes taking off and landing at Haneda Airport, trains going north and south, people walking on the platform, heavy machinery rotating at the construction site. At this very moment, everything is fleeting, there is no end here, everything is just a passing point.

Plan – 设计

1. Construction, Demolition, Reconstruction

We planned a partition that resembles a temporary enclosure that appears in the city, with each module measuring W400 x D400 x H1900mm. By repeating this, five spaces were defined: the exhibition space, the office, the small conference room, the large conference room, and the president’s office.

The “temporary enclosure” is constructed of white poly plywood, translucent acrylic, and shina plywood, with different finishes depending on the location, and is made of a base, walls, tabletops, columns connecting the walls, door of two modules, and diagonal members supporting the bench and exhibition wall. The base is raised 60mm to match the existing vinyl baseboard and painted gray to reflect the existing space, and the top of the base is maintained as an independent component.

The finish, which shows independent components such as the joints between the walls and the edges of the plywood that appear on the columns at the corners, suggests that the “temporary enclosure” will be dismantled and reconstructed.

2. Fluctuating Repetition

The expressionless, unitized components are repeated to emphasize the fluctuating light of this place.

The glossy white poly plywood and translucent acrylic blend with the sunset reflected on the building to the east, the red bricks of the neighboring building, and the blue carpet tiles on the floor, revealing the characteristics of the surrounding area. The appearance created by the repeated “temporary enclosures” could be said to express the atmosphere of Shinagawa, where development never stops, and the fluctuating nature of the city.


May 11, Saturday, clear sky

Head to Shinagawa in a hurry. Arrive for a photo shoot of an office designed by a friend (w/) and Ziliang. It looks like a space with reusable and prefabricated fixtures that can be assembled and disassembled according to the client’s needs. For an office space for a start-up company, its reusability can be an important point of contention in the overall design.

The detailed design was functionally and semiotically focused on such reusability, and as the designer himself said, the furnishings seemed to reflect the atmosphere of the Shinagawa Station area, where development continues unabated. The temporary enclosure-like appearance is achieved through a limited number of modules and materials, and details that make it seem feasible even for amateur work. It could be described as “low resolution with a warning”.

The interference between the “temporary enclosure” and the existing building creates a complex aspect. 3 materials, glossy white poly plywood, translucent acrylic, and linden, were appropriately placed for their intended purpose, but the blue checkerboard pattern disappeared or intensified in different places as the intensity of the light illuminating the carpet changed due to the different reflectivity of each material. The translucent fixtures blurred and blended with the brick tiles and floor behind them, creating fluctuations and distortions in the otherwise homogeneous space.

These fluctuations and distortions are also a reflection of what the temporary enclosures that appear and disappear on the streets of Tokyo do to the urban space and to us.

Text: h***** k*******