MITSUBISHI Head Office
New Head Office for Mitsubishi South Africa
Design Concept, Design Development, Technical Documentation, Site Implementation
Mitsubishi Corporation, a global integrated business enterprise, has a strong Japanese Heritage that dates back almost 70 years. This, together with our significant presence in South Africa became the driver the design of this new world class office. Mitsubishi strives to enrich society, both materially and spiritually, while contributing towards to preservation of the global environment and is only fitting that our workplace reflects this. Japanese design principles place simplicity, functionality and naturalness at heart of the design. These understated principles can be seen throughout the office in the simple form of both furniture and finishes. Warm timber hues and greenery have been brought inside to remind us of the outdoors and the important role that nature players in our wellbeing. Organic furniture brings a softness to our space similar to that of pebbles in a Japanese Garden to create a calm and collected environment.
The name "Mitsubishi" refers to the three-diamond emblem. "Mitsubishi" is a combination of the words mitsu and hishi. Mitsu means three. Hishi means water chestnut, and Japanese have used the word for a long time to denote a rhombus or diamond shape. Japanese often bend the "h" sound to a "b" sound when it occurs in the middle of a word. So they pronounce the combination of mitsu and hishi as Mitsubishi. The angles of the Mitsubishi logo has been subtlety incorporated into selective elements throughout the space as a way to interwine our heritage with a South African flavour. This creates a vibrant and energetic environment paying homage to where we come from and where we are going. Numerous collaborative workshops were held with employees to generate the new office look and feel. Staff had an active say in what experience they believed would be represent their workplace instead of the designer prescribing what the office looked like. Based on this feedback, a material palette was then composed which in the end resulted in a curated palette which pays homage to the Mitsubishi brand with a subtle infusion of South African culture.
Furthermore, in celebration of South Africa’s diverse culture, all furniture and fittings have been hand crafted locally. The Work Café is a showcase of our African heritage which can been seen in various elements such as the hand made pendants, designer furniture and bespoke shopfitting. The knowledge centre was designed so to attract and motivate staff to connect with one another again. Pops of colour, acoustic screens and soft furniture further add to a dynamic space with a hospitality feel. These unique elements bring colour and vibrancy into the office space creating a place that showcases South Africa’s unique design style.