Photo Credit: Y.Okamura Architects: Hideo Kumaki, Yuichi Tada Client: Re-SOHKO inc. We were commissioned to create a space that would bring new life (and a new tenant) to the vacant first floor in a 33-year-old rental office building. We responded by designing this free space in one corner of the floor. Because the building has central air conditioning, it was necessary to maintain airflow throughout. We researched various materials that would not interfere with airflow, such as perforated panels, mesh, and louvers while also thinking about how we could create a “transparent” atmosphere to encourage wide-ranging intellectual discussion in the space. The project’s title, ReBar, derives from “reinforcing bar,” the steel bars or mesh typically used to strengthen reinforced concrete. Ordinarily rebar is not visible on the surface, but in this project it encloses the space, serving both a functional and design purpose. The functional role of the rebar is to allow the energy generated by people lecturing and engaging in discussions in the free space to overflow the translucent steel mesh walls through which people can be both seen and heard. Our hope is that this inspires and positively impacts the office workers on the rest of the floor. The mesh walls also let air and light pass through unobstructed. The design function of the translucent walls is to connect the various parts of the space into a whole. Against a calming blue background, the white steel bars comprise a deformed inorganic structure that serves as an interactive partition across which the lively intellectual discussions taking place inside can pass. The concept is for this to boost the motivation of everyone on the floor.