Year awarded
Special Award
Company Info


GOOD DESIGN|グッドデザイン・ベスト100

Award-winning item
Renovation of citizen lobby in city hall [The citizen lobby on the ground floor of Kobe city hall building No. 1]
Business Owner
Kobe city
Construction/space design for public facility
Kobe City (Japan)
Ryuji Nakamura and Associates Inc. (Japan)
Award Number
Outline of Good Design Award winners
Outline of Good Design Award winners 2020

Outline* The shown information is the one as of the awarded date and might has been changed.


This is the renovation of the city hall lobby, which has functions such as waiting, meetings and the seats of the adjacent cafe. It is the attempt to create functions and spaces with furnitures without changing the building. Since the heights are the same, it can be used as a bench or a table depending on the interpretation. They create various spaces that make people think about how to use them.


Planning and Coordination Bureau, Kobe City


Ryuji Nakamura, Makiko Wakaki, Ryuji Nakamura and Associates Inc.


Ryuji Nakamura, Makiko Wakaki, Ryuji Nakamura and Associates Inc.

More information

Already in service/use


This plan involved the refurbishment of a lobby open to local citizens. As the building itself had not deteriorated, the refurbishment plan focused primarily on the furnishings and resulted in the installation of furniture with a unique design. In most cases, the tables selected tend to be rectangular and have a modular design, for ease of layout and storage. This is a design that tends to be adopted unquestioningly in spaces where efficiency is prioritized, as it facilitates an equal, homogeneous seating layout. However, precisely because it is homogeneous, it tends to create a powerful hierarchy according to the directional nature of the room space (given Japanese etiquette about the place furthest from the door being the position of honor), but few designers have taken steps to counteract this tendency. This design features a layout of multiple tables with a shape somewhere between elliptical and rectangular, which would normally be used as standalone tables, each of different sizes and made from different materials, creating a distinctive space for diverse individuals, of a kind never before seen. As a result, by creating a place where each seat is one-of-a-kind, this unique design eliminates hierarchies and gives rise to a new equality suitable for a space intended for local citizens.

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