TETOTE NOTE designed by Yoshihiro Kato Atelier is a minimal five-story concrete office block with oblong windows, located in Nagoya, Japan.
The square and pure white building located on a 100 square meter site is called TETOTE NOTE. TETOTE means handshake in Japanese, and it signifies the collaboration among the designers, the clients, and those involved in creating. The first to fifth floors are used as an in-house studio, and the simple arrangement of oblong circular windows in the flat outer surface is impressive.
These windows have two ways of opening—vertically and horizontally. Attached just at the surface of the outer wall, these windows give the impression of flatness viewed from the outside, while the thickness of the walls further emphasizes the oblong shape, capturing more random and active shadow and light. In this way the structure has the impression of duality, with a rougher interior, and it represents a stronger relationship through space and minimal detail, without incorporating a great deal of design information.
Glass is used for the roofs of the stairway shafts connecting the floors, shedding light on the walls of each floor, and this light changes over time. The steps of the steel staircases are punched through with oblong holes to allow more light to reach all the way to the bottom floor. The exposed finish of the stairway shafts feature a wood grain pattern in the concrete giving a rough and different expression and a presentation with more light.