Konica Minolta has been awarded a Japanese Good Design Award 2014 by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JPD) for the architectural design of its new research and development labs on the company’s technology
development campus in Hachioji near Tokyo.
Opened in April 2014, the Smart R&D Office for Knowledge Work and Transboundary Communication (SKT) is designed to encourage innovation and collaboration through a purpose-built ‘cocreation field’ for employees, partners and customers.
The design of the seven-floor building also reflects Konica Minolta’s brand message, ‘Giving Shape to Ideas’, and the brand concepts of light and colour.
These themes are clearly evident in the spacious atrium at the heart of the office. Flooded with light from a large skylight and softened by the planting of trees and greenery, the space features wide staircases that provide engineers and researchers with mental and physical stimulation and the opportunity to bump into and exchange ideas with colleagues.
Employees can chat on the staircase or, for longer interactions, use laptop bars or enclosed skyboxes around the perimeter of the atrium.
For more formal interactions, there is a choice of more than 50 colour-coded conference rooms, while the Spring of Wisdom in the ‘Knowledge Court’ (at the bottom of the photo below) facilitates collaboration between different teams and disciplines.
Befitting Konica Minolta’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the SKT has achieved the highest level of certification under the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE), which evaluates buildings according to their energy-efficiency, environmental qualities, comfort and design.
Key features include solar panels on the rooftop; natural ventilation; skylights with electric sunshades; eaves and louvres to block late afternoon sun; and sensors that adjust lighting in line with natural light levels. To maximise the use of natural light throughout the year, the atrium has an inverted cone shape.