When a project starts with design requests that you either love or hate, you know that you have stumbled onto the right type of client: one who understands that attracting bright, enthusiastic employees requires a certain attitude.

Project Name: Ernst & Young
Studio Name: van der Architects
Design Team: Martin van der Linden
Area: 3600sqm
Year: 2009
Location: Tokyo
Photography Credits: Josh Lieberman
Other Credits: Artists: Hiroki Tsukuda, Kaori Maki, Johan Lorentzon

Ernst & Young By Van Der Architects - Sheet8
©Josh Lieberman

Conceptually, we wanted to convey the image of a meeting area like a garden — a futuristic garden with various twists and turns. We wanted to adorn the meeting room walls with art, but rather than buying a few prints, we recruited young artists, giving them large canvases to work with: entire walls, or portions of the ceiling.

Ernst & Young By Van Der Architects - Sheet10
©Josh Lieberman

Each artist was briefed on the Future Garden theme and then set to work with various media. Some, like Kahori Maki, made pen drawings, while others, like Hiroki Tsukuda, used collage. Some worked in oils or photography, while others, like Johan Lorentzon, worked completely digitally.

Ernst & Young By Van Der Architects - Sheet11
©Josh Lieberman

All walls in the reception area are curved and views slowly unfold. The curved walls have ocular shaped windows at eye level. These windows show a glimpse of the meeting rooms and a view of a public park in the distance. The glass of these elliptic windows is switchable making it possible to change the window from clear to opaque at the flip of a switch.

©Josh Lieberman

Thus the views within the reception area constantly change depending on the occupation of the rooms. Rather than entering the doors directly from the corridors, we created antechambers with polished stainless steel doors leading to the meeting rooms. The use of these antechambers and steel doors make entering these rooms a more deliberate and reflective moment. The difference is felt tactically as well as you move from the hard, tiled floor of the reception to the soft custom made carpets of the meeting rooms.


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