heatherwick studio plans giant 'planted pergola' for mixed-use tokyo development
 

heatherwick studio plans giant 'planted pergola' for mixed-use tokyo development

heatherwick studio, the london-based design and architecture firm led by thomas heatherwick, has revealed plans for a giant ‘planted pergola’ that will form the focal point of tokyo’s redeveloped ‘toranomon-azabudai’ district. the studio has designed the public realm and lower-level podium architecture, landscaping, and retail for the site, which includes a public square that measures 6,000 square meters (64,583 square feet). the scheme also includes a mix of offices, residences, and retail outlets, as well as a school and a temple.


image © DBOX for Mori Building Co.

 

 

heatherwick studio sought to unite the site with an identity particular to tokyo. working with a complicated, irregularly-shaped plot, the design team devised a scaled up pergola-like system to organize and unify the development’s many different elements. ‘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,’ explains thomas heatherwick.


image © DBOX for Mori Building Co.

 

 

the undulating structure rises like a gently sloping hillside before puncturing the ground to allow natural light into the basement retail zones. traditional japanese crafts have also been referenced in the design, such as the edo kiriko glass etching technique. ‘as many new developments around the world can be harsh and sterile we wondered if we could provide a more human-centered alternative by integrating surprisingly intense quantities of planting and greenery,’ heatherwick continues.


image © heatherwick studio | darcstudio

 

 

‘set within a natural valley, we have chosen to accentuate that topography through our design, creating an undulating arrangement that uses a pergola-like structural system to create a variety of landscape spaces, from hidden gardens to sunken courtyards,’ adds neil hubbard, group leader at heatherwick studio. ‘weaving and flowing through the scheme, a family of pavilions emerges from the grid of the pergola.’ the project, heatherwick studio’s first in japan to go into construction, is due to complete in march 2023.


image © heatherwick studio | darcstudio


image © heatherwick studio | darcstudio


image © DBOX for Mori Building Co.


image © Mori Building Co.

 

 

project info:

 

design: heatherwick studio
core team —
founder: thomas heatherwick
group leader: neil hubbard
project leader: michael lewis
project manager: etienne de vadder

 

client: mori building company ltd
site area: 8.1 hectares approx.
ground area: 63,910 sqm
green area: total site green area 24,000 sqm / central plaza 6,000 sqm
height of pergola: 43m, 6 floors below ground, 7 floors above ground
sustainability: RE100 international environmental standard; japan’s first zero-emission neighborhood; aims to achieve WELL building standard
construction start: august 2019
expected completion: spring 2023

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