Meguro office space by Nendo


Here's another project by Japanese designers Nendo. This time an office space near the Meguro river in Tokyo, which they divided by creating walls with cut-outs that almost reach the floor.

The walls are meant to evoke waves or cloth sagging to the ground.

Employees move between various working areas by stepping over the lowest points of the partitions.

The following text is from Nendo:


The office is located near the Meguro river in Tokyo, on the fifth floor of an old office building. We wanted the usual spaces and functions – meeting space, management, workspace and storage – to be separate but also to maintain a sense of connection between them.

To achieve this effect we divided the space with walls that seem to sag and flop like a piece of cloth held up between two hands, enclosing the various spaces more than the usual office dividers but less than actual walls.

Employees can move between spaces by walking over the parts of the walls that ‘sag’ the most, thus emphasising the contrast between the uses of the different spaces.

Spaces that need more sound-proofing are enclosed with the kind of plastic curtains you might find at a small factory, so that people can work without worrying about noise but not feel isolated.

When you stand up and look through the whole space people, shelves and plants seem to appear and disappear as though floating between the waves.

Posted on Friday March 7th 2008 at 1:30 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • yung

    nice and clean design.
    But may be annoying for office runners!

  • pop

    i like the upside down effect. but i wonder how many will be tripping when crossing the partitions.

    maybe they should have a first aid kit on every panel!!!

  • tim

    maybe people who consistently trip over the doors can be fired for not being able to deal with an extremely simple change in their monotonous lives…

  • gabe

    This very cool, but would never comply with fire codes here in the states, at least not to my knowledge.

    • jintengfe

      So, does in China.

  • Morais

    It´s like the Tama Art University Library model (by Toyo Ito) … upside down !!!

    I think the lights should be on the floor…

  • Interesting alternative to the typical cubical farm. Doubt it will catch on. Not exactly wheelchair-accessible!

  • greg

    Those workers will be tripping !

    What an annoying space to have created : (

  • Jillian

    beautiful and simplistic, although I agree with the tripping hazard comments…

    I do love the sharp and clean curves: it creates much more of a relaxing and feel than typical cubicle board partitions.


  • DJ


  • Avi

    I guess they don’t have to worry about wheel chair accessibility or accident claims or lawsuits…aesthetically it’s really cool, but come on, the same effect could’ve been achieved without putting a stumbling block in front of every entrance.

  • Andrew S.

    Hmm, interesting, but it feels heavy to me.

  • Karei

    I like how you can see people’s chest-up in a curvy frame.
    As an architect in the states, I can’t help thinking about ADA accessibility and egress issues, but I admire their ability to create a space that feels new but simple.

  • tomato

    not very disabled-friendly design

  • charles

    its beautiful… but i cannot imagine this realized in the states….
    wheel chair access!

  • z

    you people speak of the obstacles as if they’d never been considered by either designer or client.

    give people more credit for being able to navigate spaces…especially those who will spend every day in them.

  • Arch

    did you see that white stool? it’s the best thing in that space! it’s so sexy!

  • Jim

    The nice thing about this space is how it gives people their own space-
    You can tell if the person is there without intruding.
    You have to take care when entering someone’s space, instead of barging in.
    And you have to think about how to exit a space.

    Not a bad way to work.

  • Tyler

    Not handicapped accessible and not practical. Not to mention the panels look cheap to me.


    I don’t know about anyone else, but the photos make me dizzy. maybe its different in person. but that doesn’t seem to be a good setting for a work environment

  • Voilà un super environnement de travail accessible pour les handicapés…

  • pop

    unfortunately the images that are posted are aimed to impress and not to inform us on the projects.

    i think the issue of accessibility is studied in this space. because if you look at the far left or right there is a passage that links the whole space and the upside down arches are just shortcuts.

    anyway nice project again. a simple solution for the sardine can.

  • jaja

    It is interesting that many people speak about the accessible issue. It is such an obvious problem that I can not imagine it not being discussed while being designed. It would be impossible in many countries, also outside the states. Because of the handicap access as fire escape routes.

    And then I think it wouldn’t even have been a bad thing if the arches had been going all the way to the ground in some places. Issues solved and still a nice design.

    Because I do like the views as taken in the photo’s at standing height. Sitting down and working there I would have my doubts as the arches lead the viewer to a ceiling that is not the most attractive.

  • zuy

    A french designer Philippe Million design a table as a micro architecture, with arcades like this

  • DCP

    Hope they did solve the wheelchair access issue, cuz I must say it looks all right from standard height. Reminds me of these puppet-show like performances with cardboard waves and cardboard boats ‘floating’ between them, in this case replaced by the people, plants and desks the designers talk about. Very theatrical project in general actually.

  • It looks like an undeveloped idea to me. Or different for the sake of being different. I haven’t developed any particular envy over not working there…

  • Vince B

    Yes, not disabled accessible nor convenient for emergency evacuations!
    Also the thickness of the panels makes the installation look like a cheap handiwork.
    A shame because the effect of the cut-out on the office landscape and users silouhettes is really interesting.

  • umm… it’s … too heavy for me.
    Not only the disabled accessible problem, but the partitions are kind of disturbing.
    and I agree with Vince B.. the thickness of the panels is another problem.

    I like Nendo though. haha..

  • Daniel Whitehouse

    Well I quite like the fact that someone has tried to change the way an office should be designed,, its an interesting design but overall I don’t really think the effect works, and it has many design flaws.

    As pointed out, the potential hazzards from tripping over the partitions is evident, and will be a potential problem, potential lawsuits may arise. Also i’m only looking at the space from a picture and I feel disorientated, so how will people in the space actually feel? It could affect the workers performance, as well as many other things.

  • zuy

    I like Nendo though. haha..

  • zuy
  • Dutch

    …and speaking of cheap, plastic curtains?
    I like the feeling of light everywhere though, maybe the panels don’t bother me too much – though it does resemble a plywood model to some degree…

  • edward

    Good effort at changing office landscape, but I would like to see it occupied. Will there be controls on pasting stuff on the walls. Right now it reminds me of
    THX 1138, the Lucas film with Robert Duvall.

  • edward

    Addendum: If the employees all dressed in white that would be so Japanese.

  • Good work! Its a nice workspace if there is another way of moving around the space freely coz workspace requires flexibility and it doesnt really seem so in the interior design of the office. But if these arches are just shortcuts for crossing various cabins in the office area, then maybe it could serve the purpose of its design….

  • This creates a very light atmosphere for employees and helps to reduce daily work stress. Well done!

  • Jung

    Sucks for handicap people