Pallets are sturdy and abundant, and therefore a great material for upcycling to meet a number of architecture and design needs. A Tokyo based firm Hiroki Tominaga Atelier recently used them in a unique office space renovation. What’s more, they were able to do so without the end result looking like a DIY project.

Hiroki Tominaga Atelier used 130 pallets of different sizes to create a light-filled and inviting 538 square foot office space. The new office is lined with pallets, which were broken down to create the flooring, as well as used to line the ceiling and the façade. To create the furniture they layered the pallets, which effectively obscured the fact that these were the main building blocks. The end result is a very modern, yet rustic and homely space.



The designers used three different sizes of pallets, which cost from $10-30 each. Since they used pellets, they did not need to hire a carpenter. All told, the renovation only cost $2,300, which includes all the fixtures and furniture. Everything was also designed in such a way that it will be easy to move once it is time to relocate the office. One of the more unique aspects of this renovation is certainly the façade, which is basically a slatted movable screen that effectively separates the space and provides privacy for those working there.



The client was a video production company leasing the office space, and due to the uncertain nature of the contract the renovation needed to be low-cost. In the Japanese real estate world, the tenant has to clear out the space they were renting, meaning that there is quite a market for fast, efficient and cheap renovations.

At first glance it is not even evident that the furniture was made of pallets, and this is certainly a prime example of just how gorgeous furniture from reclaimed or upcycled materials can be. However, pellets are normally treated with all sorts of toxic substances and finishes, which must first be removed before they can be used in architecture or design.