Heatherwick Studio unveils undulating mixed-use Tokyo scheme design

Heatherwick Studio unveils undulating mixed-use Tokyo scheme design

Construction has broken ground on Heatherwick Studio’s latest project in Asia – a striking, organic, mixed use development featuring within its composition a distinctive green pergola style roof. The scheme, located in Tokyo’s Toranomon-Azabudai district, includes the public realm and lower-level podium architecture for a site, which also comprises a 6,000 sq m central landscaped square, office, residential, retail, a school and a temple. 

Working with the Mori Building Company to create ‘an exceptional public district for the city’, Heatherwick Studio is effectively working on the redevelopment of the wider area’s accessible public realm, which is expected to be visited by some 25 million people per year, once completed. 

Image: DBOX for Mori Building Co.

The practice responded to the site’s irregular shape by designing fluid, undulating volumes, which are topped off by a planted roof – this gives a much needed green element to the scheme, while echoing ‘the natural forms of the project’s valley setting’, explain the architects. 

‘It’s been very exciting working on the Toranomon-Azabudai project and much of our effort has been focused on designing the public spaces that everyone will experience when they spend time in this new area,’ says Thomas Heatherwick. ‘As many new developments around the world can be harsh and sterile we wondered if we could provide a more human-centred alternative by integrating surprisingly intense quantities of planting and greenery.’

The Toranomon-Azabudai project is Heatherwick Studio’s very first to begin construction in Japan. Completion is due in March 2023. §

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