heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo

azabudai hills, a vibrant mixed-use district in central tokyo

 

A new district designed by Heatherwick Studio, known as Azabudai Hills, has now opened in the heart of Tokyo. The 81,000 sqm project is the culmination of a thirty-year regeneration process steered by Japan‘s Mori Building Co. Ltd., and features residential complexes, retail spaces, a school, art galleries, two temples, offices, and restaurants — all set within 24,000 sqm of a publicly accessible landscape. Both the public realm and podium-level architecture were headed by the studio’s lead architect, Thomas Heatherwick, whose design encourages purposeful connections between commuters, residents, and the public. Within this neighborhood, a green oasis filled with trees, flowers, and water features complements meandering routes and walkable rooftop slopes that invite exploration and informal gatherings. ‘We were inspired to create a district that connects with people’s emotions in a different way. […]This is a joyful and unique public place for Tokyo, designed to be cherished for many years,’ shares the architect. 

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo
Azabudai Hills by Heatherwick Studio | image © Raquel Diniz

 

 

heatherwick studio reimagines a juxtapositon of old and new

 

Building on Thomas‘ vision, the Azabudai Hills district celebrates Tokyo’s juxtaposition of old and new architecture, with large and small buildings pressed against each other. Residents and visitors can come together and evoke a unique landscape that includes extensive public gardens, a central square, and The Cloud event space. Throughout the thirty-year regeneration of this site, Mori Building Co. Ltd. collaborated with over 300 residents and businesses to bring the district to life. Over 90% of the original tenants and businesses have now chosen to return to the new district. As part of the development, Heatherwick Studio has designed its first school, The British School of Tokyo. At 15,000 sqm, this is the largest international school in the heart of the city and takes full advantage of the local climate with a flow of outdoor learning and recreational spaces spread across eight levels. 

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo
image © Raquel Diniz

 

 

Over the last 10 years, we have tried to get under the skin of what makes something distinctively Tokyo, whilst at the same time adding something new that’s fresh and soft to its modern built environment. We wanted to create vistas full of variety and intrigue and spaces to explore. It’s a confluence of different families of design all brought together in one place. I can’t wait to watch people explore it, concludes Neil Hubbard, Heatherwick Studio’s partner and Group Leader. An estimated twenty-five to thirty million people will visit this new public district every year. Moreover, Azabudai Hills is also on track to becoming one of the largest sites to receive the preliminary WELL certification, the highest-level LEED Neighbourhood Development certification for mixed-use developments, and LEED’s BD+C certification. 

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo
image © Raquel Diniz

 

 

 

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo
image © Raquel Diniz

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo
image © Raquel Diniz

heatherwick-studio-azabudai-hills-designboom-full

image © Raquel Diniz

heatherwick-studio-azabudai-hills-designboom-full-2

image © Kenji Masunaga

heatherwick studio's azabudai hills opens as a mixed-use green haven in the heart of tokyo
image © Raquel Diniz

heatherwick-studio-azabudai-hills-designboom-full-3

image © Kenji Masunaga

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