Heatherwick plans ‘pergola’ complex in Mori’s mixed-use scheme in Japan

WCN Editorial Team 27 Aug 2019 ASIA BUILDINGS

Design and architecture studio Heatherwick Studio has unveiled designs for a ‘planted pergola’ complex at the heart of the new Toranomon-Azabudai district in Tokyo, Japan.

The Mori Building Company’s JPY580bn (£4.48bn) city quarter will have a total floor area of 860,400m² and include shops, restaurants, office space, 1,400 flats and a hotel.

The site area is approximately 8.1 hectares and will have a ground area of 63,910m². Total green space will be around 24,000m².

Construction has already commenced on the major scheme and the project is expected to be completed in March 2023.

The ‘planted pergola’ is Heatherwick Studio’s first project in Japan to go into construction. The ‘pergola’ will have a height of 43m, with six floors below ground and seven floors above ground.

The design allows for green space at ground level and climbing up the podium buildings. Japanese crafts have also been referenced, including the Edo kiriko glass etching.

Heatherwick Studio has designed the public realm and lower-level podium architecture, landscaping and retail for the site, situated in the Minato City of Tokyo and includes a 6,000m² central landscaped square.

The scheme includes a mix of office, residential, retail, school and temple, all within a new urban topography to achieve Mori Building’s ambition of creating an exceptional public district for the city.

Around 30 million people are expected to visit the area per year.

The project will be constructed to RE100 international environmental standard. It will be Japan’s first zero-emission neighbourhood and aims to achieve WELL Building Standard.

Heatherwick Studio founder Thomas Heatherwick said: “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.

“As a way of combining an architectural construction system with significant amounts of nature we developed the idea of a garden pergola scaled up to district size.

“This concept has allowed us to bring an overarching logic to an eight-hectare piece of Tokyo whilst also making space for facilities such as housing, shops, hotels, spas, a school and a temple within the sections framed by the grid.”

The project includes three towers by Pelli Clarke Pelli as well as shops designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto.


Image: Visualisation of the east side of Toranomon-Azabudai in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio/DBox for Mori Building.

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