This is a reformatted version of the "10 years of Ghibli" passage by Toshio SUZUKI that used to appear in Studio Ghibli's now-defunct English website. Its original location was http://www.ntv.co.jp/GHIBLI/history/history4e.html.
(4) Ghibli - Building of the New Studio
Whether it was to relieve the stress he was under, Miyazaki out of the blue came up with a proposition: "Let's build a new studio!" It was the Miyazaki way: when facing a problem, try to find a break through by coming up with a much greater problem! But the reasons he gave were convincing. If we are trying to get the best people, a rented office is not impressive enough. Without space people cannot gather; and without a good one, people will not develop. The space GHIBLI was using was already full - approximately 90 people were working in a 300 square meter space. But GHIBLI did not have the money to build a new studio.
Hara was a man of common sense who was opposed to this idea. While I knew the idea of building a new studio was ridiculous, I took it rather optimistically: Give it a try. Tokuma, the president, was totally for it and even sent me a word of encouragement, saying, "Suzuki, there is plenty of money in the bank. There are times when a man must carry heavy loads on his back." I remember a strange rush of emotion that I felt then, realizing what a way to view life. Hara left the studio, saying he could no longer follow.
Miyazaki of this year was a true genius, who presented his talents in many ways. While making the "Porco Rosso," he drew the blueprint of the new studio himself, held meetings with the builders to bring it as close to his image as possible, drew the image drawing of the completed studio, gathered, checked, chose the materials, and made the final decision. One year later, both the film "Porco Rosso" and the new studio were completed almost at the same time. Immediately after the release of "Porco," GHIBLI moved to its new studio in the city of Koganei in the suburb of Tokyo Met.
Just to keep you updated, the site of the new studio where we are now is approximately 1100 square meter wide and the total floor space also occupies about the same. The building has a basement and 3 floors above ground. The third floor is occupied by the art department, second by the drawing and production departments, the first floor by the tracing/painting department, and the basement by the photography department. On the first floor there is a space called the "BAR," which is used as a communication space for all staff. The space, however, is rarely used as a bar, maybe several times a year for drinks, and most of the time is used as a conference room or as a cafeteria space. The most unique part of the building is in the rest room. In GHIBLI, the ladies' rest room is double the size of men's, even though the number of men and women are about the same. The facilities are better in the ladies too. Perhaps this is just one of the ways our architect Miyazaki showed his support for feminism. Other characteristics of the studio is that it has lots of greenery and that parking area was intentionally made smaller.
Let's get back to where we were. In the summer of 1992, the film "Porco Rosso" was released and became the number one box-office hit of the year, surpassing all others released in that year, even Spielberg's "Hook" and Disney's "the Beauty and the Beast."