MetLife Vision 2020 strategy was created with the objective to unify 7 various offices into 2 locations defined by a single corporate culture and work environment. The 2 locations, Tokyo Garden Terrace and Olinas Tower, are connected by a single subway line with an overall commute of 30 minutes. A complete workplace reset and global approach to the design was implemented and the projects mantra became “Bringing Our People Together”.
The Olinas Tower location features 21 uniquely designed collaboration Clubs, 2 café spaces, 2 reception and client conference areas, a TechLife bar and game room, an Innovation room, and various wellness spaces. Each Neighborhood is comprised of one or more teams that share a variety of work settings and services for printing, filing, meeting and storage.
Concept: MetLife set forth three principals of the global workplace strategy
The Square is the space where all users of the building meet one another; staff, visitors(MetLife and MetLife partners) and perhaps even family. The Squares provide the strongest brand message which celebrates the MetLife culture, putting the work on display and highlighting the most important assets of the organization: its people.
The Club is the second environment where occupants or visitors on the specific floor meet. Clubs are located at the immediate entrances from the elevator hall. The Clubs are specifically designed to promote group activities, impromptu socializing, and act as a landmark to orient the associates. Each Club is an alternative work setting that enables associates to easily change their environment and feel inspired. Graphic branding at the Clubs activate the cultural themes that drive the design of these communal spaces.
The Neighborhood is comprised of one or more teams that share a basic set of tools that support them in their daily work. The open office is divided into Neighborhoods at a more humanistic scale that promotes inter-personal relationships. Department boundaries are blurred reinforcing a single company concept.
This strategy ensures that amenities, daily sustenance, alternative work settings, support, and wellness spaces are accessible to all associates at 3 different scale levels:
the office-wide level, each floor level, and at each open office level. Ubiquitous WiFi, built-in power, writable walls, easy access monitors, and new initiatives for a paperless environment, all contribute to a more mobile way of working that offers workstyle flexibility to all associates. The client also set the goal of achieving LEED Gold certification which requires the careful selection of materials, optimal lighting, access to natural light, energy efficiency, and air quality as a commitment to environmental responsibility. The office space design is a reflection of MetLife’s global presence mixed with local flavor derived from the rich Japanese culture to create a dynamic, collaborative, transparent, efficient, and human work environment that promotes wellbeing and communication.
This café space is located at the top floor of the tower and commands a panoramic view of Tokyo and accommodates staff gatherings for viewing seasonal fireworks. The space features a sculptural bronze metal cloud fixture that was inspired by images of Zippangu, a legendary name for Japan meaning the Land of Gold.
24F Bento Area
This café space offers a changing menu of lunch bentos from outside vendors to staff and guests. The seating area juxtaposes traditional Japanese tatami material and chipped wood furniture against vibrant and cozy booths added privacy.
21F Tsuyu Club
This collaboration/pantry space is inspired by the rainy season and the beautiful Hydrangea flower. The space features a louver structure from which vibrant colored graphics of abstract flowers can be viewed.
29F Nodate Club
This collaboration/pantry space celebrates the tradition of the outdoor tea ceremony set against the pastel colors of Spring. The space features a multi-colore tinted glass tea room and circular booths with scenic vignettes of Sakura blossoms.
This space functions as a secondary reception for welcoming business partners, vendors, and staff into a more casual conference center. The space features a topography sculpture wall of Mt. Fuji to compliment the actual view of the mountain from the adjacent windows.
24F TechLife Bar
Tech support staff are presented in a more transparent and welcoming setting typically located adjacent to the Game Room and Café areas. TechLife is centered around a high counter, product display niche, and light-hearted graphics to create an interactive and fun atmosphere.
30F Executive Servery
This spaces serves as a breakout area for visitors to enjoy catering or take a quick break in between meetings in the conference center. The space features a high marble table with faceted metal base, stone light fixtures, and a view of the Tokyo Skytree.
The boardrooms are equipped with advanced AV technology(featuring laser guided microphones embedded in the ceiling and side monitors) and a sound isolated translator’s booth. The centerpiece is a walnut wood table with custom brushed brass inlay and high quality leather executive chairs.
Designed by Garde Co., Ltd.
Design team: Junya Sakai, Yoshiyuki Manaka, Christopher Brooks, Shinyin Lee, Naoto Sudo, Seiko Inoue, Miho Okubo, Jiyeon Kang