Hender Scheme Kuramae

Hender Scheme Kuramae

Architect
DDAA / DDAA LAB
Location
Taito, Tokyo, Japan | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Offices

Showrooms
Kenta Hasegawa

Hender Scheme Kuramae

DDAA / DDAA LAB as Architects

This project is to renovate an entire concrete building near Kuramae Station into a showroom and office for IaicoS, which operates Hender Scheme and Polyploid.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

There are a few simple, specific rules for this space. The first is to use raw-edged materials as they are without significant edge treatment except for deburring. The second is to use the colors of materials as they are as much as possible without color matching. The third is to treat opposites, such as craft/industrial, front/back, artificial/natural, and cheap/luxurious as equally as possible.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

The first two, "raw-edged" and "material color," are DDAA's interpretation of the characteristics of Hender Scheme's vegetable-tanned leather, and the third is a rule inspired by their "way of making" that we feel in their creation. We wanted to create in a way that resonates with Hender Scheme's creation, which are familiar everyday products such as ordinary boxes, envelopes, and simple packaging designed using leather through careful techniques. This is not only because of the rules we set, but also because we sympathize with the way they make and the attitude they take.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

This is why we decided to leave the bare walls as they are as much as possible. Shelves and partitions around the walls are made of raw-edged gray poly lumber to accentuate the edges. One of the glass partitions separating the office and meeting room is a mirror, and the gray surface visible from the office is the back of the mirror used as a finish. Since the mirror and glass are the same thickness, raw edges of both materials were joined without seals along the edges like glass.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

The glass and mirror are fixed directly with screws using leather as washers. The exposed electrical wiring carefully laid out in the concrete walls is also held in place using raw-edged leather. The meeting space is furnished with a glass table on legs made of steel pipes for scaffolding and leather upholstered chairs by Hender Scheme.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

The shelves on the exterior wall side are usually used as open shelves for documents and can be blindfolded during biannual exhibitions. The screens are made of raw-edged polycarbonate panels that can be attached and removed with magnets, without intricate detailing like fittings. They are lightweight and translucent with no oppressive feeling, and above all, they do not block the light from relatively small windows.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

The large table, which doubles as a meeting table by changing the layout, consists of large-sized structural plywood over 3m long. Since the material is mainly used to make structural members of buildings, we used hardware for conventional construction methods for wooden houses to fasten joints. Since the desk is only 700mm deep because of the size of the material, we made a slit in the center to provide space for power supply wiring. We used raw-edged steel square pipes as longitudinal beams which provide space for wiring to electrical outlets.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

By the way, we found the following sentence in the book "principle" published by IaicoS after the completion of the project:

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

In a time when only messages that are black, white, or extreme can reach people, we would like to turn things upside down, change the angle, and present yet unseen directions to turn to in the gradations of gray.

photo_credit Kenta Hasegawa
Kenta Hasegawa

We cannot say that a starred restaurant is better than an "aka-chochin" (an inexpensive Japanese-style pub); both offer delicious food and good times. It is just they have different concepts or ways to enjoy and look at things. We will continue to think about new perspectives and values in myriad gradations of gray in which good qualities of both opposites, such as high/low, craft/industrial, front/back, artificial/natural, etc. coexist, without being biased towards one or the other.

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