To allow customers to exit their cars without getting wet during downpours, Shinei Motors requested an over-hanging roof above the entrance to its new car dealership and repair shop. The building's designer, Teruaki Uchino, drew up a plan to model the new dealership like an Ancient Greek helmet. (Think Achilles's headgear in Troy.) Uchino created an over-hanging roof that curved away from a concave wall, mimicking the curves to a Greek helmet's plume. "Now, Achilles is a symbol of this town," Uchino says. (Continued)
The most dramatic part of the interior is the second-floor waiting room. The dealership wanted to use only black, gray, and red paint. So Uchino painted the entire waiting room in red. The room connects to the downstairs through a spiral staircase. A high wooden table with two tall chairs and a couch sit near the banister. Cone-shaped light fixtures hang from the ceiling. It's a little bit like something out of the Inferno.
What's an easy way to make a small place flexible? Install a moving wall. That's how Studio No. 6, a branding agency, solved the problem of space. It installed a three-sided structure that would separate the office into different areas. The agency opted to extend its creative touch even to the wall: It features several prints of a leaping purple frog. The frog's large eyes convey intense concentration and a hint of mischief, so it certainly extends Studio No. 6 brand. Plus, there's a usable workstation in the hollow part of the divider. Definite bonus points. (Continued)
The office takes advantage of the natural light and installed tall windows in the reception area. In the conference room and waiting area, there are white couches and chairs. With sunlight streaming in, resting on those ivory cushions gives a sense of calm, like sitting on a cloud in a sunny sky.
For its first satellite office in the United States, The Leading Edge, a boutique strategy and research firm, needed to turn a Manhattan office space's top floor into something original. It decided to not over-do it, rather retaining a simple floor plan and a whole lot of open space. At least of half of the floor is used for an open workspace: Four long translucent tablets seat four people. Employees perch on office chairs with vibrant crimson cushions. (Continued)
In other parts of The Leading Edge's office, custom-designed light fixtures that resemble thin tree branches dangle from the ceiling. There's also a narrow room for making private phone calls that features a green hounds tooth-like pattern. A few walls are painted black. Employees sometimes use chalk to jot quick notes down, or to leave a funny joke ("I can't think!") for their coworkers on those black walls.
We'd extend a sincere thank you to any dentist who recognizes the fear associated with annual cleanings, but Washington Square Park Dental gets an extra-big smile for a couple reasons. First, several walls were covered first with a green carpet and then a white board with circular perforations. Not only does it muffle the noise but it also gives patients something to look at when they're trying to open wider. (Continued)
In each patient room, a TV screen is mounted above the operating chair and broadcasts soothing images. Each patient room also includes a trench with plants and bright lights casting rays on the green leaves. Really, the entire office is verdant—nearby Washington Square Park was a major influence in the office's design. A tall window and a ramp leading from the entrance filters natural light toward the back of the office and into the patient rooms. —Abram Brown