Office Campus

More than work: Tokyo office grows own food in Office

Story Highlights

  • Looking to bridge the gap between cities, the hinterlands and beyond, architecture firm Kono Designs have built a model for urban farming in the form of the offices of Pasona, a recruitment firm located in Tokyo. The 50-year-old building was refurbished with various vegetable and fruit-bearing species, ranging from melons and lettuce to rice. According to WilderUtopia, as much as 20% of the 19,974 square meter office was repurposed for both soil-based and hydroponic farming. Take a look inside the office, where eggplants grow in the lobby and tomatoes hang from conference room ceilings:

Source |YouTube |Kirsten Dirksen


In a country with very little arable land (only 12% compared with 20% in the US), in one of the most populated cities in the world, one company chose to give up 43,000 square feet of valuable workspace to grow food.

In the Tokyo headquarters of human resources company Pasona Group they grow 200 species of fruits and vegetables and even rice that are harvested and served to employees.

The indoor urban farm doesn’t just provide food, but by mixing work space and farm space, the company tries to provide a healthier quality of life for employees. Here green isn’t just a window dressing: immediately upon entering the building you walk over a 1,000-square-foot rice paddy, continue through an okra field and you enter the vine-covered “tomato guest room” or the “vegetable factory” filled with hundreds of hydroponic heads of lettuce. On the second floor, fruit trees form partition walls between meeting spaces, bean sprouts are grown under benches and herbs grow on shelving along the walls.

Even the outside of the building is covered in plants helping keep the building cool in summer and warmer in winter. According to the farm’s designers Kono Designs, “it is the largest and most direct farm-to-table of its kind ever realized inside an office building in Japan.”

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Ramesh Ranjan

A Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Visiting Professor, Content Manager & Editor. Ex IIM NASSCOM LRC, ex VP NHRD Bangalore Chapter, ex VP-HR@Schneider Electric, Head HR@ APC, Caltex,Co Systems, Natural Remedies.

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