YOSHIMOTO KOGYO CO., LTD., Tokyo (Japan)
In the middle of Shinjuku, a district often described as the heart of Tokyo, there is a former elementary school that was once considered Asia’s most modern educational building. Built in 1934, it currently houses the headquarters of one of Japan’s most important entertainment corporations, YOSHIMOTO KOGYO CO., LTD. Here, approximately 800 artists are at work – including some of the country’s most famous stars working in theater, television, entertainment and comedy. In addition to producing TV programs, plays and radio programs, YOSHIMOTO conducts training and continuing education for management positions in the entertainment industry. The architecture of the former schoolhouse, with its all-glass facades, was an avant-garde design in the 1930s and is still strikingly modern today. The east and west wings of the building are connected by two corridors, which open out onto a central courtyard. The building seems airy, bright and fresh, and was equipped with a steam heating system and a luxurious roof garden a good 70 years ago. Historically and architecturally, the building attracts just as much attention as with its furnishings. Particularly striking is the extraordinary USM Haller reception desk, made just for this building in a custom shape and colors.