Capcom Games head office, Burnaby, B.C.

DIALOG, Vancouver

Photography by Ema Peter

Video game company offices tend to be loud, busy and suggestive of high levels of testosterone, like their products’ users. However, the new 52,000-sq.-ft. Canadian headquarters for Japan-based Capcom looks refined, contemplative and positively Zen-like. Capcom wanted a calm, soothing space that paid homage to its ethnic roots. What emerged is a bright white interior that updates traditional Japanese design elements. Side tables, the reception desk and meeting-room façades resemble hand-folded Origami boxes. Wood-slat ceilings and doors are elegant abstractions of a tatami mat. Sand gardens encircle meeting rooms, metaphorically segregating them from the rest of the office. Travelling over stones to enter them, one ritually banishes everyday thoughts to engage in collaborative creativity. Still, there’s room for the fun that only a video game company can love, such as the atrium with a two-storey-high “digital” koi pond. And, you know you’re not in Cubicle CorporateLand Kansas anymore, Dorothy, when you look up in the community café and see the cartoon-like concept sketches of Capcom’s characters etched into the concrete ceiling.