International Business Center Ideas


To create an integrated, successful, international business environment; to forge a new focus of global business in the profitable Kansai area.

Dynamic - Powerful - Innovative

The qualities of successful business; the theme of the International Business Center on Rokko Island in Kobe.


Integration of all the elements required not only for doing business in Japan, but for doing business on an international scale.


Three office buildings, fused together by bridges, ascend in three stages from the World Diplomacy Building in the South, to a higher business building in the Northwest, and finally to the tallest business building in the Northeast which terminates at the 48th floor in a revolving international restaurant. These three buildings, the parking garage to the south, and the RIC River Mall to the west create a great exterior space - the World Plaza. This exterior space rises from the basement level International Lunch Area (-5.5m), to the pedestrian entry level (+0m), to the Main Entry Level (+11m), and finally climaxes within the triangular Atrium/Display space. This large interior space, providing commercial/retail space on the First (+0m) and Second (+5.5m) levels, with spacious Conference facilities on the Third (+11m) Fourth (+16.5m) and Fifth (+22.5m) levels, serves as the central focus and main circulation node of the International Business Center (IBC). It is here that governments and businesses will display their products and services side by side, and it is here that one will experience and enjoy the true international spirit of the IBC: Global cooperation and achievement - the promise of the Twenty-first Century.

Office Tower Design

The form of the office towers evolved from the unique requirements of the Business Support System (BSS). All the common functions including meeting rooms, lounge, front desk with office equipment, bathrooms and elevator lobby are located within the central triangular form of the building. Revolving around this central core, three office wings create spacious offices, each with perimeter glazing for natural daylighting and vistas of either sea, Rokko Island City, Rokko mountain, or Kobe city.


The formal vehicular entry begins on a curving rising ramp from the Northwest, and terminates at the Main Entry Terrace (+11m). Here, one can enter the Atrium/Display space, and proceed either to the main conference area or continue to any of the three elevator lobbies at the Main Entry Level (+11m).

Project Context

The design of the project spanned a period of 1.5 months (During the Russian Coup). I used a 486/33 with AutoCAD r.11 to create the model (I wrote several lisp programs to help generate the form). Then, I used RenderMAN to create the final images. (It was essentially a solo design effort with architectural programming input from Jun Maeda, CEO of Planners International.) Also, this model represented my first attempt at creating a "virtual" design model, where plans/sections are no longer drawn as independent exercises, and instead are generated by "slicing" through the model.

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Copyright © 1995-2009 Frederick Clifford Gibson Architect & Associates
San Francisco, California - USA