Nominee

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:

About the Project

This mixed-use facility comprises two floors respectively accommodating G's Academy Fukuoka, a programming school established under the slogan of "let's become a geek 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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