Case Study: Grofield's design agency in Japan

Grofield is a design agency located in the suburbs of Toyama.


When it had to move, the management initially considered occupying offices in the city center, but the main means of locomotion of the region being the car, it would have been necessary to provide a sufficiently large car park. In addition, she wanted a building of one level. The search for a suitable property has therefore been extended to the outsides of the city. And so a lot was found on the outskirts of a residential area. Between the idyllic route of a small regional train and a residential street framed by lush green trees in a suburb of Toyama, Japan, is the new headquarters of Grofield.


To ensure optimal communication between all, the management opted for an L-shaped building. At the very beginning of the design process, they selected furniture that would also meet this objective: USM furniture. The rest of the design has been determined around this anchor. The offices are grouped in the longest wing, the other being reserved for meeting rooms. A courtyard was built between the two wings.


Each workstation is located in front of a window so employees have an unobstructed view of the tree-lined street beyond the inner courtyard.

Walking into the office, a USM Haller combined storage and display unit is the most striking feature of the environment. Set against clean wooden floors and pure white walls, the USM pieces’ green finish strikes a balance between bold playfulness and naturalism. It functions as a visual divide between the banks of desks on either side, as well as a communication hub for informal meetings and a complete storage solution for the paper-free office. An alternating grid of open display shelves and closed drawers, the unit is playful, modern and specifically designed to be ready for easy additions when the number of staff at the firm expands.

green USM Haller office storage in use as a breakout meeting area
green USM Haller office storage in use as a breakout meeting area
green USM Haller office storage in use as a breakout meeting area

Rows of USM Haller workstations with oak and walnut finishes complement the studio’s wooden flooring, while their chrome-finished tubular legs continue the motif set by the central USM Haller piece. Identical tables are sufficiently elegant to also serve as meeting tables in the conference rooms and executive offices - here USM sideboards in cool black contribute to a more traditional ambience. Of course, these units can also be extended or adapted as the company continues to expand.

minimalist modern office conference room with USM Haller table in wood and metal

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