London-based Heatherwick Studio is working with the Mori Building Company on the redevelopment of the Toranomon-Azabudai neighbourhood in the Minato district of Tokyo, and the designs for the new buildings are definitely striking, to say the least.
Since the project area spans more than eight hectares, and will include a mix of different buildings like offices, homes, shops, a school and even a temple, the studio “has sought to bring harmony and to create a distinctive identity that is particular to Tokyo,” as it reads in the project’s official description. All of the project’s elements will have a unique pergola-like look – it’ll be both beautiful to see and functional, since it will allow for “significant green space both at ground level and climbing up the podium buildings, without sacrificing connectivity to the ground.”
The 25 to 30 million people expected to visit the area each year will be able to move up and down the pergola-like buildings and enjoy different perspectives on the city all around them, as well as the greenery which will feature both on the ground and on top of the buildings themselves. The whole area will adapt gently to Minato's hills – “the undulating structure rises like a gently sloping hillside before puncturing the ground to allow natural light to pour deep into the basement retail zones.”
The redevelopment of the Toranomon-Azabudai neighbourhood is expected to be completed by March 2023. In the meantime, you can check out Heatherwick Studio’s official website here.