The project consists of an orthogonal showcase space with 35m long glass windows on either side along the east to west axis and four entrances on each of its north, east, south and west sides.
As many students pass use this space as a shortcut path during break time, the layout of bench seats is planned to block this flow, by creating a simple open space for multi-purpose uses. The design motif of the benches reminisces pebbles, showcasing a relevant mobility. A white zero-shaped plate that is suspended from the centre of ceiling delineates different spatial characters inside and outside its perimeter. The pebbles are gathered in its interior, indicating a sense of a place where one could belong.
The shape of pebbles reproduces the roundness created naturally by the flow of a river. User’s flow during the break time is like the flow of a river, and round pebble benches create and gently control the diverse flows that produce different characters of the area. The shape, size, colour and texture of each pebble bench suggests appropriate softness, to be used for seating or napping, according to the different needs of each user. “Zero Space” thus becomes a highly flexible space that people can use alone or in a group, as the variety it offers stimulates their imagination.
During the daytime, ample natural light fills the space, and as night falls, the carefully planned lighting – by lighting designer Yuko Yamashita in collaboration with the project’s designer – highlights the zero-shaped plate, emphasising the spatial flow.