Aozora Bank moved its headquarters to Sophia University's Sophia Tower building, which has an emergency electrical power supply designed to withstand large earthquakes. There is a branch for general customers on the first floor. This is the first time that a large bank has established its headquarters on a university campus.
The office layout features a "street and intersection" theme. As a mechanism to build connections between people, floor common functions (OA, "refresh corner") are gathered at areas in which the crisscrossing flow paths (streets) intersect. In principle, private rooms are situated in the core while the space by the windows is left open as the bank employee "workplace."
Taking the opportunity presented by this move, the bank introduced an ABW (Activity Based Workplace) type of workplace-selection and free-address system. The space enables workers to select their "workplace" based on the work to be performed that day, while also taking into full account concentration and interaction. The aim for this office is to increase productivity and creativity. In addition, making use of the 7F to 16F multistory structure, with the 10 office floors being likened to a "keyaki tree," a theme color was defined for each floor and theme-color panels were used on the column surfaces of that floor.
While the design is, basically, simple and functional, this is a bank office that has taken a step forward into the future by enabling bank personnel to try new ways of working.