G’s ACADEMY FUKUOKA

Designed by: TEPPEI NOMOTO / NOMOTO SEKKEI
For client: Digital Hollywood Co., Ltd. Floor area: 378.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Learning Space of the Year

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Multi-purpose hall / Grids of raceways accommodating wires and outlets are installed on the ceiling in order to allow flexible zoning.

About the Project

This mixed-use facility comprises two floors respectively accommodating G’s Academy Fukuoka, a programming school established under the slogan of “become a geek with the power to change the world” and G’s Base Fukuoka, a coworking space where engineers, entrepreneurs, and designers can further concentrate on “monozukuri” (manufacturing.) It is located in a global city of Fukuoka, a gateway to Japan from Asia, a home to many tech companies, and a popular tourist destination. The bustling streets are lined with brand shops and restaurants. The facility is conveniently located in the city center at a 15-30 minutes commuting distance from major transport hubs including Fukuoka Airport and Hakata Station. We converted the first and second floors of a 6-story commercial building accommodating shops including beauty salons etc. into the facility. The narrow and long townhouse-like space with high ceiling has a distinct atmosphere. The first floor is a communal space filled with light and bustling with people. Shared by the school and the coworking space, it accommodates an entrance hall, library, kitchen, kiosk, meeting booths, classrooms, free-address workspace, multipurpose hall that can be used for various events, utilities including post boxes and lockers and so on. The second floor accommodates more individual spaces shared by coworkers. Desk booths for 1-2 persons and rooms for rent, shared laboratory with a kitchen, lounge, and utilities including toilet, shower, and storage.

What’s unique about it

The client requested us to design spaces that can flexibly respond to activities and events of the school and coworking space. In order to make the best use of the two floors with narrow and long space, we placed a straight concourse serving as the major circulation axis first and created a flexible and organic spatial sequence accommodating necessary functions. The minimally finished void space can be flexibly used by installing movable modular units according to circumstances. The modular units on wheels can flexibly move around like “yatai” (food cart) in Nakasu, one of the famous features of Fukuoka. “Parking spots” of the units are indicated on the floor like car parking, so that they can be easily returned to the designated spots after use. The modular method in the space is also used in graphics. Modular illustrations can flexibly respond to various uses including websites, printed matters and other media.

We used and reconfigured generic industrial components, materials and systems used in factories and construction sites to construct modular furniture and interfaces. We took advantage of the fact that the space is lit only by northern light and created an artificially-lit space where “night never comes” and geeks constantly produce things and services 24 hours. This “space on the move” like an airport or train station with the vivid colors, becomes a global melting pot where people and information constantly come and go and essential cultures are fostered.

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View from the meeting area to multi-purpose hall / Vinyl strip curtains can be moved like sliding doors and divide the space in multiple ways.

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Facade / An ambiguous “in-between” space like engawa in Japanese architecture is provided in front of the security gate equipped with a smart lock, loosely connecting inside and outside.

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Entrance hall / The space is equipped with enough outlets and high-speed wifi. Custom-designed power strips are stuck on the desktop with a magnet on the bottom.

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Security boundary / Employee seating and coworkers seating are distinguished by the chair color. We made hanging poster boards and white boards that can be easily mounted on/dismounted from the wall without using tools.

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EDIT(Steel cabinets) / We “edited” and gave new order to functional and inexpensive steel cabinets by adding signs and numbers.

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Full cast photo / All items composing the first floor space are shown here.

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Shared lab / This shared lab can be used for casual meetings and work. Signage boards feature information in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.

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Desk booth / The partition wall system made of perforated wood board can be customized to meet each user’s needs. Classic office chairs made in Japan are used.

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Desk booth / Classic arm lights, used for a long time by draftsmen and engineers, look like crab legs.

Credits:
NOMOTO SEKKEI


TRAIL HEADS,Inc

Studio Gottingham Inc

YOSHIFUMI TAKEDA

SPD-MEIJI Corporation

MINGU MOKUHEI

relier Co., Ltd.

Filaments

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