Located in the city’s busy Shinjuku district, Airbnb’s Tokyo office, like its other international offices, takes inspiration from real local Airbnb listings. Formerly a drab corporate environment, the newly renovated office boasts an airy and tranquil feel that was also informed by feedback and interaction with employees. “The main concept of this project was to recreate the feeling and vibe of a Tokyo neighbourhood,” said Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida of Suppose Design Office. “Instead of using simple walls, we laid out building-inspired volumes to articulate the space, dividing the various functions while keeping a continuity throughout the whole office.”
Suppose Design Office collaborated with Airbnb’s in-house Environments Team to create the workspaces’ distinctly minimalist and Japanese character. Light-colored timber dominates the surfaces and live trees and foliage bring nature indoors. Staff members and visitors are immediately greeted by a double-height leafy atrium that serves as reception, but looks more like a modern cafe. The office then branches out to a variety of different rooms with diverse workspaces from communal worktables to private cubbies.
Japanese influences are most evident in the Engawa area, an elevated platform covered with tatami mats and cushions, allowing staff to sit or kneel on the ground and overlook cityscape views while working. Traditional tearooms also inspired the design for the office’s private Skype booths that are made from local white oak and rice paper film.