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Brief Published: 15 Aug 2012

Aron's Adaptable R&D Centre, Japan


Japanese studio Osamu Morishita Architect and associates has designed a highly flexible workspace for international plastics manufacturer Aron. The space was conceived as a hub for brainstorming and experimentation.

Located in Shinpou, Japan, the innovative design of the research and development centre is based on numerous modular steel sections that can be reconfigured like an architectural jigsaw, depending on the spatial demands of the office. The overall form of the building can be reduced (in theory) from its overall rectangular footprint to just one small, single hexagonal unit.  A double-height space allows for multiple levels to be introduced, as and when needed.

The design also has a focus on sustainability. Key forms of insulation include interiors laced with stone gabion walls (caged cylinders filled with rocks) and special layers of air pockets within the roofing. Other sustainable features include a reservoir on the north and south sides of the structure that collects rainwater for use within the space, and a smattering of modular towers and courtyards filled with vegetation, designed to help regulate air temperature. 

Thanks to the ingenuity of the design, the building has been shortlisted in the Production/Energy/Recycling category of this year’s World Architecture Festival in Singapore (October 3-5). 

For more on the ways in which flexible workplace design concepts are giving businesses a competitive edge, see our report The Transformable Workspace. 

Osamu Morishita, Architect & Associates