The “life force” of human beings forms the basis of Creative Director Kashiwa Sato’s design concept
Osaka, Japan, July 2, 2018 — Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, (“Takeda”) (TSE:4502) July 2, held the grand opening of Takeda Global Headquarters in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan. The building, completed in March 2018, will now serve as Takeda’s head office for its operations worldwide.
Nihonbashi, Tokyo’s “town of medicine”
The Nihonbashi district is known as the starting point of the Five Routes that linked Edo (now Tokyo) to the rest of Japan, and it was the commerce and traffic that drove the area’s early development. With its rows of medicinal wholesalers, Nihonbashi-Honcho became known as the “town of medicine,” and it is now the base for many pharmaceutical manufacturers as well as home to Japan’s leading biopharmaceutical companies.
The location of Takeda Global Headquarters, Nihonbashi-Honcho Second District, has provided a base for the Takeda group’s operations in Tokyo since the Meiji period, and the company has deep ties with the area. The same district has seen the recent opening of large-scale commercial facilities such as Coredo Muromachi 2 & 3, and it has been in the spotlight as an area where there is synergy between tradition and innovation.
Collaboration and cooperation with the local Nihonbashi community
The exterior of the global headquarters building is based on vertical grids and uses select designs, colors and materials that express freshness, in keeping with the image of a pharmaceutical company. The lower portion of the building is designed to be in harmony with the landscape of this historical area, maintaining the consistent design that forms the cityscape.
The upper floors are aluminium and glass, reaching for and reflecting the sky. In addition to accommodating restaurants that represent a diverse range of food cultures, and a sports gym that helps to promote the health of the local community, a permanent, publicly accessible exhibition space on the theme of health is also planned for the first floor.
To create a global headquarters that expresses Takeda’s core values, while connecting it to the company’s future, Takeda appointed the world-renowned Japanese designer Kashiwa Sato as Creative Director.
From the entrance of the building to the reception hall, and on to the areas where people work; as you move through the building, you are met with a series of natural art installations and three-dimensional depictions of 8 Japanese kanji characters. Together, these tell the story of the flow of life.
In the 1st floor entrance space, a large circular stone filled with flowing water and light symbolizes “the source of life”, and wooden artwork made of three-dimensional kanji motifs for “water” and “light” lines the walls.
Reaching the 4th floor lobby, the story moves on to the “healthy growth of life”, with the land fed by water and light allowing trees to grow freely, and people to gather around the trees. These are expressed through the characters for “earth”, “tree” and “people” and a large artwork made of carefully arranged wood, which doubles as a bench.
In the employee cafeteria, the walls are lined with artwork made of the kanji character “life”, conveying the importance of meals as a foundation of life. This open space is brightly lit by lighting installations that incorporate the character for ”connections,” representing how eating together strengthens connections in life and harmony between people, and the character for “future” – that which will be woven together.
In order to give a sense of the breath of life, the artwork was produced using natural materials. All of the wood is locally-grown hinoki, a type of cypress that is native to Japan. This was selected not only for its beautiful warmth, but also for the manner in which it changes over time, with the color and texture becoming increasingly rich.
Kashiwa Sato said “I wanted the design of Takeda’s new headquarters to express the essence of Takeda’s values, and its core commitment to always put patients first. In this process, I chose “life force” as the central concept, and the eight characters for “life”, “water”, “light”, “earth”, “trees”, “people”, “connections”, and “future” as motifs, representing this concept. Just as these basic natural elements form the wellspring that nurtures life, the bonds between people are the driving-force that enable them to tackle the biggest of challenges, and contribute to a brighter future for all. It is my hope that this building will be an inspiration to all who work here as well as to the visitors, and it will lead them to naturally want to share their thoughts on Takeda’s future.”
“Takeda Global Headquarters symbolizes the passing on to the next generation of Takeda’s unwavering identity and values as a company, with its roots in Japan, yet reaching patients worldwide,” said Takeda President and CEO Weber. “Moreover, it will provide a base for our diverse workforce of around 30,000 employees across the globe where they can connect, collaborate, learn and share, in an environment designed to offer comfort and inspiration. From here in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, we will pursue our mission of contributing to better health and a brighter future for people worldwide, while nurturing our relationship with the local community”
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and neuroscience therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. Innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as Takeda’s presence in emerging markets, are currently fueling the growth of Takeda. Approximately 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with Takeda’s partners in health care in more than 70 countries.