The breakdown of traditional models of living and working has led to a further breakdown of the marketing practices of these models. Sumu Fumu Terrace by Tokyo-based Nendo takes the traditional real estate marketing model and flips it on its head. This is Sekisui House Ltd., a house building company in Osaka, Japan. Replaces ‘model house’ in favor of communication lounge for Rather than having a fixed show space and office, Sekisui House enjoys a flexible space that caters to a variety of functions and needs.
Designed to mimic the atmosphere of a coffee shop, this ceiling conveys the formality as well as the intensity of a traditional real estate marketing office. Here the client and the agent are just chatting over a cup of coffee. This relaxed atmosphere is brought to life by the brilliant use of glass and greenery. The Japanese design studio led by Oki Sato replaces traditional walls with large glass doors and windows. This enables ample natural light and air penetration, which when combined with wooden floors and strategically placed plants act as design elements in their own right.
The real triumph of Sumo Fumo Terrace is however in the planning. Two hundred aluminum frames hold glass panels to create a spatial labyrinth with a gallery at its heart. Walking the entire length of the labyrinth, one passes the atelier, theater, cafe, lounge, meeting space, garden, gallery, and several multi-purpose spaces. This glass coil also connects to a design studio that helps connect visitors with designers. The frames themselves are equipped with shelves, hangers, hooks and monitor arrangements, allowing any of the multi-use spaces to be transformed into display areas, workshop areas, gallery areas and more.
There is an ease and understated beauty to the space, which can largely be attributed to the clever use of plants. Plants of varying heights and depths counteract the reflection of light on the glass planes and give the entire lounge some much-needed character. Glass panels mean the whole lounge is visually connected and feels open and inviting with curtains, shades and blinds providing separation and privacy when required.
Furnishings, such as material display tables and modern seating, are a reflection of the lounge itself. Clean lines with no-fuss functionality keep the space light and airy. It’s this combination of visually thin furnishings and transparent walls with multiple points of entry and exit, that keeps the space from feeling overbearing and claustrophobic – which would otherwise be a real threat.
“Two hundred frames are arranged in a spiral with plants in between, to subtly subdivide the large space with a sense of ambiguity about one’s whereabouts. In a single alternating direction. The floor coverings and ceiling louvres in two completely different colors are highlighted. The visual impact. The space is a good example of the freedom and diversity created by the gradual division with glass doors, which neither space nor space. does not limit consumption nor human activity,” explains Nando.
The space that Nando has created is beautiful and far from any conventional office design. It mirrors naturally occurring spaces filled with light and greenery. More importantly, it is multifunctional. The way people live, work and play is constantly changing. This is changing rapidly in the post-pandemic world. This rapid evolution brings with it the need for spaces that are designed for multiple uses, be they homes, offices or community spaces. Nendo meets this need and runs with it to create a truly transformative space that can be used for commerce, culture and keeper alike.