Unique new buildings are coming very soon to the centre of Tokyo, bringing bold architecture and more greenery to the heart of Japan’s bustling and modern capital city.

This project marks the first collaboration of Heatherwick Studio in Japan. Image courtesy of DBOX for Mori Building Co

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.

The aim of the project is to "create an exceptional public district for the city". Image courtesy of Heatherwick Studio/Darcstudio

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 pergola-like building will have gardens even on top of them, and they'll be accessible through a series of stairways. Image courtesy of Heatherwick Studio/Darcstudio

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 buildings will implement elements of traditional Japanese crafts, like the Edo Kiriko glass etching technique. Image courtesy of Heatherwick Studio/Darcstudio

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.

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