Setting sail on the voyage of becoming the best in quality and service, Hapag Lloyd has a long history of excellence that spans more than 175 years. Today, the shipping and logistics company operates in 137 countries with employees working in over 400 offices around the world. The Japan office in particular was recently in need for a big upgrade after two decades in a building that could no longer meet expansion efforts and day to day operations. Highly respected in the Japanese market, Hapag Lloyd is recognized as an important logistics bridge between Europe and Japan and their role has only grown in recent years. SL+A was brought in to assist in moving the company into a new location that could accommodate this company navigating the challenge of connecting businesses, markets and economies in a logical and efficient manner.

Hapag Lloyd relocated to a brand-new building in Hanzomon, Tokyo – the office can be found on the fringes of the Imperial Garden next to the British Embassy. This prominent location gives access to undisturbed views of greenery and impeccably maintained gardens on two sides of the office. Large, crystal clear windows and glass room partitions were installed to optimize the natural light reaching into the office. Utilizing the grand view of the imperial property is a wonderful way that connects Hapag Lloyd with Japan and this has served as a guiding principle of the entire office design. Photos of stacked shipping containers out at sea, miniature replicas of some of the fleet and several pieces of custom artwork really help to connect the past, present and future of the company as we celebrate the beautiful ways Japanese culture is intertwined into Hapag Lloyd. For instance, famed Japanese artist Shinpei Kashihara was commissioned to highlight the Japanese garden and “wa” elements from the original office by creating artwork depicting the iconic Mt. Fuji during cherry blossom season, with a Hapag Lloyd container ship in the distance.

SL+A fully supported the desire to move away from traditional office desks and workspaces by equipping the new office with ergonomic furniture and technology that promotes a more agile workstyle. The design team incorporated free address seating and offered a variety of different work settings built directly into the décor of the office to enhance movement and intermingling among staff. For the grand opening, Hapag Lloyd hosted a “Vision Art Workshop” where bespoke artwork was developed by staff working together. The company encouraged employees to describe and create a vision for the organization, including their future aspirations and priorities. Artist Ryoko Utsunomiya was the professional artist brought in to finalize the ideas and collages into a bright and inspiring Vision Wall that complements the branding elements scattered throughout the office. The artwork gives a very personalized statement and is a perfect tool for fostering staff identification with the brand. The corporate values of “We care. We move. We deliver.” steers Hapag Lloyd like an internal compass and we were beyond thrilled to help such a dedicated group of people achieve their business goals in a vibrant new space.

Project Information

Project Team: Kurt Handlbauer, Hanayo Morioka, Masahiro Matsuda
Photography credit: Masaya Yoshimura