WRT: The Daiichi project site is located 40 miles outside of Tokyo in a small, quiet town surrounded by rice fields, mountains, and coastline. The company aimed to improve working conditions for their employees and to make manifest the company’s commitment to a healthy environment. To fulfill their building design concept, “Working in a Forest,” Takenaka Architecture commissioned WRT to serve as landscape architect.
The WRT team worked closely with Takenaka to integrate landscape features within the buildings and throughout the campus to create a workplace that fosters a positive, valued experience of nature in the built environment. The features also speak to the company’s heritage in this community and pride in advancing community health and wellbeing. The campus was meant to coexist with the community, which is flanked by constructed terraces and hillsides framing views of Mt. Fuji.
The four-story 480,000 sq/ft building consists of office space, a café/restaurant, and a direct-mail control facility. WRT’s campus landscape plan contained three distinct areas: The entry park, the interior courtyards, and the west gateway park. The north entry park and visitor parking area includes creative features such as sculpted topographic forms which create a natural security barrier alongside shade trees and bioswales.
The three interior courtyards provide an indoor connection to the natural world for occupants of the space, and offer a refreshing venue for business meetings, café breaks, and serendipitous encounters. They are tiered to provide access from the three interior work levels, and have a plant palette consisting of native and locally available vegetation. In addition, several green roof terraces allow natural light into all adjacent interior office spaces.
The third area, the west gateway park, boasts an undulating topography evocative of the valley landscape, created with soil obtained from the garage excavation. While the park is maintained by the Daiichi Life Insurance Company, it is open to the community. The park provides a safe environment for local families to visit; and a wide pedestrian walkway serves as a north-south commuting corridor to and from the nearby housing and school.
The weaving greenery throughout the complex diffuses the mass and volume of the building, and provides a harmonious setting consistent with the company and community values. The orientation of the building and positioning of the courtyards also reflect this goal. The new Daiichi office building embodies a corporate philosophy that blends environmental concerns with workforce health and creativity. Emphasis is placed on integrated outdoor space and greenery as the interface between a high-density working environment and the broader landscape of parks and mountain views.
Project Name: Daiichi Mutual Insurance Shin-Ohi Office Landscape
Landscape Architecture: WRT
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Design Firm: Takenaka Corporation + WRT, LLC
Design Year: 2007-2009
Year of Construction: 2009-2012
Image Credits: Takenaka Corporation + WRT, LLC