once seen as japan’s ‘front door’, the rail yards at the edge of tokyo bay may may have had their best days behind them. over time, the gravitational pull of commercial and cultural opportunity in central tokyo meant that this once important site had become overwhelmed by the infrastructure of the city. design practice hassell studio was invited to participate in a closed competition to devise a masterplan that would restore the area’s gateway status, connect with nature and create an authentic sense of place.


hassell’s ambitious project represents the largest urban regeneration project in tokyo
all images © HASSELL and studio lux

 

hassell‘s ambitious project – covering 1,250,000 sqm of development – represents the largest urban regeneration project in tokyo. the aim is to create a place where inhabitants could slow down and take a breath – somewhere they could change the pace of their day in this booming metropolis. to create the conditions that would make that possible, the designers needed to establish a new character for the area. that started with a landscape that is more monumental – a green infrastructure that firmly establishes this new centre of gravity.


the aim is to devise a masterplan that would restore the area’s gateway status, connect with nature and create an authentic sense of place

 

 

hassell transformed the rail yards into a continuous urban garden that would give the new development a civic value and strong sense of community. along with the ‘monumental landscape’, the firm designed seven main buildings to form a new gateway and define the rail yards on the tokyo skyline. these buildings do not rely on just one iconic gesture, but instead, they work together as a group to create a distinctive silhouette that defines and frames the public space at ground level. the buildings are tall but they are also equally broad in proportion. not quite blocks and not really towers, they represent a new type of built form with a distinct personality and character. 


to create the conditions that would make that possible, the designers needed to establish a new character for the area

 

 

proposed as a number of simple layers, the public realm includes a new commercial frontage at ground level, an urban forest and winter gardens as well as a new garden bridge connecting to the canals and tokyo bay to the east. together, these layers of landscape are the starting point for the regeneration of the wider area and the waterfront.


along with the ‘monumental landscape’, the firm designed seven main buildings to form a new gateway and define the rail yards on the tokyo skyline


a projection of the masterplan set in tokyo

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    architecture news