At Aoyama, Opposites Attract

How do you reinvent a historic office building - breathing a life into it that inspires its everyday patrons and passerby? This was a question we pondered as we approached the rebranding of Aoyama - a mid-century workspace building that has been standing in Tokyo since the 60s. In collaboration with Roman and Williams, the brilliant studio behind the interior structure and architecture of the building, we dreamed up a persona for the space that would inform our design. Taken from the notion that opposites attract, the building became the love child of an accountant and a designer who fell in love while trapped in an elevator. Full of tension, contradiction, color, and perfect imperfection. We built a custom typeface to create 10 different logos, all imperfect, varying in weight. The iconography - elevator buttons, stairwell graphics, and way-finding signage - are unexpected and bright. We utilized primary colors to offset the classic industrial aspects of the space, and planted gardens to help bring the building to life. After all, while Aoyama is a space to work, it’s also a space to play, shop, and eat. Full of unexpected function, we took this tension and turned it into something great.

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