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ROKI Global Innovation Centre -ROGIC-, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

Bringing the nature in

This research and development center for ROKI, one of Japan’s leading providers of filtration technology to the automotive industry, has four storeys with a total floor area of approximately 9,000m2. Situated in front of a pond close to woodland the Tenryu River, the centre features a large open plan work area spanned by a self-supporting glazed roof.

In collaboration with Tetsuo Kobori & Associates, Arup provided structural and MEP engineering services to help realise this sustainable workplace where people feel inspired and enjoy being in contact with nature. By using natural resources, energy use is minimised and the interior blends harmoniously with its surroundings.

The centre has achieved the US ENERGY STAR certification; it has also been selected by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as ‘CO2 Saving Leading Project for Houses and Buildings’. 

Project Summary

80% increase in natural ventilation

30%reduction in use of electric lights

64×50mlarge lattice roof

Energy-saving through natural cooling

Leveraging the natural landscape, Arup and the architect developed a design that changes gradually from the semi-outdoor space on the south terrace to the research area at the north end. This allows the wind through the forest from the Tenryu River, which is 1.5°C cooler than the outdoor temperature, to breeze through the building, providing natural cooling and ventilation.

The cool wind is brought through a floor pit heat exchanger, saving energy through pre-cooling. In spring and autumn, this wind can come in directly as natural cooling.  The warm air is discharged through roof openings.

The open office space is flooded with natural light. © Kawasumi・Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office.

Occupant comfort by natural ventilation

We selected the adaptive model of thermal comfort for the semi-outdoor space. Year-round simulations were performed to model the heat and ventilation conditions inside the building. The results indicated that this could increase the natural ventilation potential by 80%, minimising the need for mechanical ventilation while maxmising occupant comfort.

Natural daylight without glare

The open office space is flooded with natural light. The large lattice roof is made of ROKI's own air filter materials that react to subtle changes in light conditions and let in natural daylight without glare while reducing insolation. The lattice is kept thin so as to maximise glazed area and amount of sunlight and to minimise the shadow cast by the lattice on the interior space.

It is estimated that staff are able to work without electric light during 30-35% of working hours all year round.

In the middle of spring and fall, wind is brought directly into the room as natural cooling. © TAKAHIRO ARAI

Making the roof ‘float’

Internal columns are required to be as minimal as possible to carry out research and development centre activities and also to use the sunlight reflected by the pond as a natural light source, which imposes structural challenges.

To support the massive roof, which spans from the 4th floor building entrance to the 2nd floor south terrace, we provided two V-shaped outer columns and four slender internal columns at the south terrace, effectively hiding the roof support and creating a sense of weightlessness.

An enhanced workplace

While the laboratory is kept as a closed area to control the temperature and humidity for its built purpose, the other spaces are divided into various zones for different functions with varied ‘micro-environments’.  Staff here can choose their workplace depending on the temperature, humidity and level of light they prefer in consideration of the nature and purpose of their work. This arrangement not only gives staff greater flexibility as to where they work but also improves energy efficiency.

The centre helps enhance the quality of life for staff. It creates a workplace where they can work and experience nature, unleashing their creativity in an open, inspiring and collaborative environment.


The research and development center is equipped with top lights on the entire roof. The goal was to create an office close to the natural environment that would enhance creativity and provide a relaxing workplace with a sense of greenery. © TAKAHIRO ARAI


56th Building Contractors Society Award
26th JSCA Award(alum. Mitsutake Tanigawa)
Architect Award Highest Award(MLIT Award)
AIJ Grand Prize 2016
Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) Prize 2017