BY: JESSICA BEUKER
In Japan, 126 million people occupy a very small land area, making it one of the most densely urbanized countries in the world. It’s a crowded place for the people who live there, and leaves very little room for sprawling agriculture. Because of this, more than half of the country’s food supply has to be imported from other countries. In an effort to change this, new creative ideas are emerging that aim to use every bit of available space in a positive way. Often thought of as the place where souls are crushed and dreams go to die, traditional office cubicles are anything from lively and inviting. Now, the workplace has become green, lush, and full of life—a place where office and organic form a beautiful friendship.
Pasona Inc., a Japan-based firm that specializes in human resources and temporary staffing, has recently undergone an earthy transformation. Employees at the company’s Tokyo headquarters not only share office space with their coworkers, but also with thousands of square feet of fully functional urban gardens.
According to Good Magazine, the design was created by architect Yoshimi Kono, and is far from a typical work environment. The building’s exterior is covered in foliage and boasts vines that dangle off of overhead trellises. Inside, tomato vines dangle above conference tables, flowers and fruit trees make a home on the balcony, and a rice paddy takes over the front lobby.
Along with being visually stimulating, the building is also an effective urban farming project. It is 100% organic, and grows more than 200 species of fruits and vegetables.
The project is not just an eco-minded innovation, but it acknowledges Japan’s space limitations for agriculture growth. By utilizing office space, the design makes room for urban farming while simultaneously bringing life and colour to the dull and claustrophobic image of the office cubicle.