World Basics 2013 AW Exhibition in Tokyo by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

World Basics 2013 AW Exhibition.
Photo by Kenta Hasegawa.

 

Jo Nagasaka is a Osaka-born Tokyo-based architect who established  in 1998. In 2007, he started a collaborative office called HAPPA which also combines a gallery and a shop with other facilities. Among his works are a series of beautiful projects spanning residential, retail, workplace and installations. In 2012, Nagasaka branched out to product design with UDUKURI series of Flat Tables for .

Like many of his contemporaries, the work of  is all about pure forms, reduced palettes and that certain gentle, raw and unfinished aesthetic only the Japanese designers seem to know how to pull of so brilliantly. Below is a selection of some of my favourite projects, with additional images in the gallery.

 

World Basics 2013 AW Exhibition in Tokyo by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

World Basics 2013 AW Exhibition in Tokyo by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

World Basics 2013 AW Exhibition in Tokyo by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

World Basics 2013 AW Exhibition.
Photos by Kenta Hasegawa.

 

“Basics” is something that keeps renewing itself, according to demands of the society or advancement in technologies. Based on this concept of “Renewable Basics” we designed an exhibition space for the World Basics. The exhibition was held in the lobby of the World building. Our design incorporates anonymous elements (such as plants, watering cans, meeting tables etc.) so that activities of regular business and exhibition can co-exist naturally. The concept of  “Renewable Basics” is also expressed in the display furniture by creative attempts to break stereotypical images of conventional furniture. Firstly clothing racks, including hanging bars, are made of wood instead of metal. Normally when hanging clothes, clinking sounds of metal are taken for granted, but we wanted to change that preconception by using wood. Secondly display tables are made of soft sponge-like material. Unlike conventional ‘hard’ display tables, these ‘soft’ display tables will provide a soothing touch when a customer leans on them to take a closer look at the clothes.


Floyd Kitte Marunouchi in Tokyo by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Floyd Kitte Marunouchi in Tokyo by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Floyd Kitte Marunouchi.
Photos by kentahasegawa.

 

Walking into this space one would hardly recognize it as a newly built shop. Ceilings are exposed, floors are unfinished, and plywood boxes scattered everywhere. From a distance it appears as a loading dock or still ‘under construction’. Once inside, the visitors can discover something extraordinary – shiny metal ducts hanging overhead, delicately crafted plywood boxes are almost like artwork with their sharp edges of acrylic shelves radiating beautiful gradation of vivid colors that change according to a viewer’s position.


Hue , photography studio & office by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Hue , photography studio & office by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Hue , photography studio & office by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Hue , photography studio and office.
Photos by Takumi Ota.

 

Unlike a traditional closed box photography studio used merely for shooting and equipment storage, Hue is an office space, a cafe, a library and a kitchen. The studio embraces its users by enabling them to change the spaces as they feel fit.


Aesop Aoyama by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Aesop Aoyama by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Aesop Aoyama by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Aesop Flagship Aoyama.
Photos by Alessio Guarino.

 

Within the skeleton of an ordinary RC building, the store of the skin-care brand Aesop was created out of the re-use of miscellaneous materials. These materials were all easily available; some were collected from an old demolished house which provided shelving material that were mixed with new plywood. Completed in 2011, the store was the first and a flagship store for Aesop in Japan.


Aesop Ginza by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Aesop Ginza by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Aesop Ginza by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Aesop Ginza.
Photos by Alessio Guarino & Takumi Ota.

 

Brick is the main material used for the design of Aesop Ginza, the second boutique of Aesop that has been placed in an existing building. Located on a street called Brick Street (Renga Do-ri) in Ginza, the brickwork of the exterior walls has been continued into the interior space, creating a distinct, iconic store.


Sayama Flats by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Sayama Flats by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Sayama Flats by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Sayama Flats.
Photos by Takumi Ota.

 

“For this project we refurbished an apartment block that was built in the post war period of high economic growth in Japan. The design principle we followed was redesigning the space only by removing elements without adding, and improvising the layout of each of the apartments on site, without having drawn their plans in advance.”


House in Okusawa by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

House in Okusawa by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

House in Okusawa by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

House in Okusawa.
Photos by Takumi Ota.

 

“This house was built during the post-war era of Japan, when the influence of western design became popular. The superficial imitation of western architecture was used for the design of common housing, as seen in so-called Provence or English style houses in Japan. As a part of this trend, the house in Okusawa sought to imitate the English brick house. It had a triangular wooden gable, typical of the English roof, while it also included a parapet. At first sight it looks like a RC structure, but this is misleading; the wooden beams are reinforced by steel frames to lessen the number of interior pillars. While the house might be superficial, it retains a certain charm that reminds us of familiar human feelings. Rather than denying its immaturity out of the post-war period, we have taken a gentle and positive attitude towards it and renovated it into a home suitable for today.”


MR_DESIGN OFFICE by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

MR_DESIGN OFFICE by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

MR_DESIGN OFFICE by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

MR_DESIGN OFFICE.
Photos by Takumi Ota.

 

“We designed an office for MR_DESIGN OFFICE for graphic designer Kenjiro Sano. The interior space is defined by the layout of the furniture, which has been meticulously designed. This enables the optimum use of the spacious interior, as it does not need partitions. Even in the meeting space, where partitions are usually required, we have established a free-flowing space by the use of umbrellas. These are commonly used as light reflectors, but they also function as sonic-reflection collectors that enable people to have conversations without partitions. As a further iconic element of the office, we have designed slopes connecting the interior spaces.”


Takeo Kikuch Shibuya by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Takeo Kikuch Shibuya by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Takeo Kikuch Shibuya by Jo Nagasaka/Schemata Architects | Yellowtrace.

Takeo Kikuch Shibuya.
Photos by Nacása&Partners Inc.

 

Takeo Kikuchi is one of the most distinguished and coveted menswear brands in Japan, established in 1984. The global flagship store in Shibuya is located on Meiji Douri Avenue. Four entrances are located along the street, so customers can enter from various points and freely stroll around the space. The furniture and display have been randomly placed across the interior, reminiscent of a forest. “We didn’t want to set a singular circulation route, and we prepared multiple circulation routes as if the streets are extending into the store. Customers can freely move around and enjoy unique shopping experience according to their taste and mood.”

 


[Images courtesy of .]

 



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

Leave a Reply