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Designed with the Force of Life in Mind

Designed with the Force of Life in Mind

Japan-based pharmaceutical firm, Takeda was impressed by their core values and mission assertion when designing their new company headquarters. 

Takeda HQ gardenTakeda’s new international headquarters combines previous and new ideas – adjoining to the Fukutoko shrine and backyard.

In planning to develop a brand new headquarters facility, the management of Takeda, a pharmaceutical firm based mostly in Japan, delved deep into their core and company values to stipulate the mission assertion for his or her new facility. As an organization with a wealthy, 237-year-old historical past, there was a substantial quantity of info to guage and inform their path to deliver their plans to fruition. The end result, their new constructing unveiled this previous summer time, has a design ethos rooted in the historical past and cultural roots of their Japanese heritage.

As said in the press launch saying the new headquarters, the driving drive was Japan’s tradition of respect for custom, serving as the elementary spirit underpinning the firm’s over two centuries of regular operations.

Trying to the future, the management was eager to make sure that their core values proceed to help the foundations of their now international enterprise. The Takeda International Headquarters is symbolic of their company id and is designed to attach them with their future as an R&D-driven biopharmaceutical chief to satisfy their enterprise aim to contribute to offering “better health and a brighter future for people worldwide.”

The place Takeda deviated from the norm, was by making a undertaking group led by a specifically appointed Artistic Director, the world-renowned Japanese designer Kashiwa Sato. With a portfolio starting from product design, branding and graphics, to structure, all disciplines informing the improvement of the design program and constructing and inside design.

Using the “life force” of human beings as the driving drive of the design idea, the constructing that has emerged was created with a mindfulness that’s evident from the website plan to the selection of supplies, to the placement and move of areas inside the constructing.

The circulation paths by way of the constructing function a collection of artwork installations that includes pure parts and eight three dimensional depictions of conventional Kanji motifs of water and lightweight lining the partitions.

The entry foyer includes a round stone crammed with water and lightweight which symbolize the “flow of life” that’s the key component of the design answer. The wooden panels function the Kanji symbols – additionally representing water and lightweight.

A bit of background:

Situated in the Nihonbashi district is called the start line of the 5 Routes that linked Edo (now Tokyo) to the relaxation of Japan. An space initially generally known as the “town of medicine” as its preliminary improvement and progress was on account of the presence of its rows of medicinal wholesalers. It’s now the selection location and residential of many of Japan’s main biopharmaceutical corporations.

Takeda has had a presence there since the Meiji interval and is deeply rooted in this location.

The image scroll additionally exhibits numerous enterprise in the Edo interval, comparable to couriers referred to as Hikyaku, dentists, companies promoting water, drugs, and even moneylenders. Picture from Servcorp.

The situation of Takeda International Headquarters, Nihonbashi-Honcho Second District, has offered a base for the Takeda group’s operations in Tokyo since the Meiji interval, (1868-1912), and the firm has deep ties with the space. The evolution of the firm has been parallel with the altering occasions, nevertheless there has all the time been a constant emphasis on sustaining their core values and retaining a stability between custom and innovation to maneuver the firm ahead as their enterprise has moved to a worldwide presence.

We have been lucky to have the alternative to interact with Kashiwa Sato in addition to Hiro Fukutomi, Lead of Takeda International Headquarters Undertaking, Head of Company Technique and the CEO Workplace Takeda, Pharmaceutical Firm Restricted to raised perceive the thought and inspiration behind this new office for Takeda’s HQ staff.

What have been some of the venture milestones and when did these happen? For instance, the date the venture was introduced, in addition to the date development crews started work at the website.

“The decision to develop a new headquarters was made during the summer of 2010. The official groundbreaking ceremony occurred on February 6, 2015. Employees started to move into the new Takeda global headquarters in late March 2018. On July 2, 2018, Takeda held its official grand opening event.” – Hiro Fukutomi

Why did Takeda select to assign a Artistic Director to handle the design course of?

“In order to carry out our mission of bringing better health and a brighter future to patients throughout the world, Takeda recognized the importance of providing employees with a healthy and energized environment where they can work creatively. When planning our new headquarters, we aimed the facility would enhance a strong connection among employees and would connect Takeda’s past with the present and future. Mr. Sato’s work and credentials, characterized by several projects he has done for corporate branding and space-design in his career, made him the obvious choice to turn Takeda’s vision into a reality. In our new global headquarters, we wanted an innovative design reflecting Takeda’s innovation in pharmaceutical sector with sense of Japanese heritage in modern style. We are quite certain that Mr. Sato perfectly realized what we wanted to have.” – Hiro Fukutomi

Why was it essential to translate the “life forces” from the historic cultural sources, utilizing artwork to convey the messaging, versus extra apparent Takeda branding?

“Takeda’s global headquarters symbolizes the passing on to the next generation of the organization’s unwavering values. Because of this, it was important to develop a space that connected Takeda’s past, present and future. Using the Takeda library archives, I studied the history of the organization from its founding. I also had countless conversations with members of the Takeda staff, as well as with president and CEO Christophe Weber. Through this research, we were able to create a design concept that told a rich story and truly connects with members of the Takeda team in a way more obvious branding might not.” – Kashiwa Sato

The fourth-floor foyer signifies “healthy growth to life”, with the land fed by water and lightweight permitting timber to develop freely. Guests and staff will witness characters for “earth”, “tree” and “people” and a big paintings made of rigorously organized wooden, which doubles as a bench.

What number of staff have been relocated and from what variety of facility or amenities?

Roughly 800 staff. 

Does the new headquarters have a a lot totally different appear and feel than the earlier office? How did Takeda handle this transition?

“Our previous Tokyo headquarters was built more than 50 years ago (1966), and it provided Takeda with a solid base as the business expanded over that time. As you can imagine, our employees, the organization and the health care industry have changed significantly since that time. As construction of the new global headquarters was entered the final phase, it became an opportunity for Takeda’s employees to discuss the organization’s values of Integrity, Fairness, Honesty and Perseverance. These conversations helped everyone understand how our new workplace is designed to help us always be thinking about how we can contribute to better and brighter health for patients around the world.” – Hiro Fukutomi

Some individuals contemplate the work tradition in Japan to be intense and embrace lengthy work hours. Did this status influence the headquarters’ venture, and in that case, how?

“Takeda fully supports this trend of changing today’s society norm of taking pride in long working hours and the diversified career path in Japan. Our new global headquarters provided the team with a fresh start to change our employee’s mindsets to concentrate on productivity and efficiency, rather than long work hours. We have introduced “short-hours” that permit staff to take trip of their work schedule to attend to non-public issues throughout the day. We additionally switched a “work-from-home” system to a telework system the place staff can work from anyplace at any time, in response to their particular person wants and most popular work types.” – Hiro Fukutomi

Specializing in the open-plan idea work areas, how are the “force of life” options strengthened?

“When people enter Takeda’s work areas, the aesthetics are meant to represent the formation of fruitful “connections”. The open-office format reinforces this. In consequence, each worker can simply join with any particular person or group, to speed up innovation by way of collaboration. Every worker workstation additionally has an adjustable-height desk. This enables staff to work in standing or sitting positions all through the workday and promotes improved well being and focus.” – Kashiwa Sato

The open plan work flooring designed to foster extra strong communication amongst staff and supply a spread of work areas.

What design options concentrate on a workforce that’s made up of many specialties and other people from round the world?

“Takeda’s team is made up of a diverse group of more than 30,000 employees from across the globe. The open floor-plan workspaces make it possible for these individuals to interact face-to-face and to generate ideas. The multipurpose lounge floor is also a terrific space for Takeda employees based in Osaka, as well as those visiting from another offices. For workers based locally, this space can be used for voluntary group activities. For travelers, it is considered a touch-down space, and it includes separate men’s, women’s and gender-neutral shower rooms. The global headquarters also includes a business support concierge desk that offers bilingual services so employees from other countries can work stress-free and concentrate on their work.” – Kashiwa Sato

Help areas are offered to reinforce worker consolation and well being. Above is the lactation room. 

How did Takeda handle communication with staff to tell them of impending modifications in their office?

“ It was necessary to develop a communication plan for Takeda staff that may end result in a clean transition. We appointed representatives from every associated division and division of the firm as ambassadors who facilitated the communication and drove the coordination amongst staff as advisors, followers, and influencers. These ambassadors performed a essential position in bringing a clean and profitable transition. Empowering staff to be half of constructing a brand new headquarters, a logo of Takeda’s transformation, was essential and central in attaining the historic and vital milestone.

“Communication was delivered through not only electronic channels, such as intranet, digital signage and email, but also in-house paper publication. In addition, we hosted several events including briefing sessions, which kept employees updated with the status of the entire project. The correspondence included a clear timeline of what was happening and when. We also provided instructions on how to pack workspaces. Because the team was eager to learn about the new global headquarters, we provided them with background on the new facility. Moreover, we engaged them in some of the key decision-making processes, such as the layout of each floor, the selection of furniture and, even, coffee beans for the cafeteria. After the move, we had an office-wide celebration to recognize this important milestone in Takeda’s history.” – Hiro Fukutomi

Have been there alternatives for workers to offer suggestions to assist plan the design?

“Mr. Sato had briefing sessions with our CEO Christophe Weber and visited our facilities in Osaka and Kobe to learn about the history of Takeda, which helped him plan the design.” – Hiro Fukutomi 

What pure parts, each finishes and supplies, have been used in the constructing design?

“All of the artwork on display was produced using natural materials like wood, stone, water and even sunlight – all of which represent the fundamental elements of “life” on earth. The wooden is locally-grown hinoki, and this can be a sort of cypress that’s native to Japan. The timber have been rigorously chosen from the wooded slopes of the Tanzawa Mountains in Kanagawa Prefecture. Minimize from a managed forest, their removing would contribute to the safety of wildlife and the prevention of pure disasters in the space.

A element of the wooden function partitions with the Kanji motif(s) of timber and earth.

The workplaces in the constructing face north as north-facing workplaces have the benefit of feeling brighter since the buildings and cityscape outdoors the home windows seem brighter. Usually, when these workplaces face south, in many instances, the daylight is just too robust, and other people maintain the workplace blinds closed to maintain out the solar.” – Kashiwa Sato

What design options give attention to staff’ work/life stability and the way do you hope staff react?

“The workplace is much more than a space to complete tasks. It is an environment that enlightens, engages and inspires employees. Along with being a collaborative and inspirational environment, Takeda’s global headquarters is a space that supports work-life balance. The multipurpose lounge provides employees with a setting to relax, work out or hold voluntary group activities. This floor also includes a lactation room for working mothers. The LIFE CAFÉ has become a popular space for Takeda employees and business partners. It is a warm environment where people can meet for breakfast, lunch or tea. The new headquarters also includes an on-site doctor and an in-house clinic, which includes facilities such as an x-ray machine, and there is a fitness club so that employees can better manage their health. I have heard from Takeda employees who say they are proud of their new office and that it is a bright and pleasant environment.” – Kashiwa Sato

The “LIFE CAFÉ” is a central hub for worker revitalization over tea or a meal

As a result of Takeda is a worldwide firm, how did the group handle the know-how integration for connectivity, reminiscent of teleconferencing? 

“As Takeda operates over 70 countries in the world and our executive team locates in Japan, U.S., Europe and Singapore, managing the technology integration was vitally important. Our information technology team worked closely with construction crews and designers to ensure our employees were able to quickly and easily connect with their colleagues and clients – whether they were located locally or thousands of miles away. Takeda’s new global headquarters is equipped with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, which includes a video teleconference system allowing employees from many different locations from around the globe to connect virtually.” – Hiro Fukutomi

What sustainability options are current in the new Takeda headquarters?

“We took steps to scale back environmental influence. The home windows of the workplace area face north, permitting pure mild and a ravishing view of the cityscape. This design reduces the quantity of power required to chill the constructing in throughout the summer time months.

As the space roughly 5 meters from the home windows is definitely impacted by daylight and exterior temperatures, we separated the air con that controls the thermal load of this space from the common air con. This permits detailed management of room temperature in accordance with the wants of staff for warmth or air con. We additionally retailer water in tanks in the basement, amassing the warmth from them to make use of as a warmth supply for air con. The core methods that function the constructing have been given an ecological and sensible design to scale back operating prices to preserve power.” – Hiro Fukutomi

What consideration of emergency or catastrophe preparedness points have been concerned in the undertaking?

“The building has features that took consideration of Business Continuity Planning. Due to its geography, Japan is a country prone to natural disasters. The building is designed to ensure that in such an event, people will be safe inside. The Takeda global headquarters is equipped with a seismic isolation system. This will absorb the movement caused by earthquakes. Ground-level entrances have removable waterproof barriers to protect against floods. The building also has back-up power, including generators that can run for up to seven days. Floors B1 to 2 can provide temporary accommodation for people who are unable to return home. These features have incorporated the company’s commitment not only to safety and security of Takeda’s employees but also to the community.” – Hiro Fukutomi


You possibly can study extra about the completion of Takeda International Headquarters right here.