kazuyo sejima's high-speed japanese train wins GOOD DESIGN gold award

kazuyo sejima's high-speed japanese train wins GOOD DESIGN gold award

in 2016, japanese architect kazuyo sejima — one half of acclaimed firm SANAA — was tasked with designing a high-speed train unlike anything seen before. now, with the train taking to the rails earlier this year, new images of the design have been unveiled. the project is titled ‘laview’, a name that references the train’s luxurious living, arrow-like speed, and generous views. ‘this train moves through the tokyo to the mountains of chichibu and I thought it would be nice for the train to be able to respond and blend into the surroundings in a soft way,’ sejima explains.


UPDATE 11/11/2019: ‘laview’ has been awarded the 2019 GOOD DESIGN gold award, which is evaluated for the quality of effort in providing solutions for social issues, or the potential for future development. see the jury’s evaluation below —

kazuyo sejima laview
all images courtesy of seibu railway



‘this train is packed with attractive features that bring excitement to passengers even before boarding, such as the avant-garde rounded face, modest-looking body that softly reflects the scenery, large passenger windows and the warm tone of yellow seats reminiscent of an inviting living room,’ the GOOD DESIGN award 2019 jury evaluation states. ‘it gives the illusion that the natural scenery out the large windows are one with the indoor space, transforming the familiar view into something new and exciting. with the aspiration to ‘create the scenery of the next 100 years,’ they have boldly took on the challenge to innovative design and executed it well, which is worthy of applause.’

kazuyo sejima laview



designed as the new flagship train for seibu railway, the exterior of the vehicle is defined by openings that offer views through windows measuring 1,350 mm x 1,580 mm (approx. 4.5 x 5 feet). elsewhere, the train’s rounded front has a windshield made of three-dimensional glass with a curvature radius of 1,500 mm. meanwhile, the reflective exterior is finished with a specially-created aluminum paint that intends to merge gracefully with the train’s surroundings.

kazuyo sejima laview



internally, to provide a relaxing feeling for each passenger, windows in each car are placed continuously in equal intervals. ‘I wanted to make a train which feels like a living room where passengers can freely relax and feel motivated to ride the train everyday,’ continues kazuyo sejima, who was also responsible for the project’s interiors. soft indirect light, which adjusts throughout the day for increased comfort, gently illuminates the space.

kazuyo sejima laview



soft warm yellow seats are arranged in a space with large windows and white walls. the sofa-like seats are shaped to wrap around the body and are equipped with an adjustable headrest and armrest that doubles as a table. the use of the color yellow continues within the entrance/exit vestibule where a portion of the wall is curved to allow for more a comfortable leaning position.



improved on-board amenities include a spacious multi-functional restroom, which includes baby changing facilities, and a women-only restroom equipped with a full-length mirror. meanwhile, a powder room offers dressing and magnifying mirrors, a hand dryer, and electrical outlets. free wi-fi is available within each car, while large 23-inch onboard video screens display information in four languages — japanese, english, korean, and mandarin. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.



project info:


name: laview
client: seibu railway
architect: kazuyo sejima (basic design supervision)
textile designer/coordinator: yoko ando
lighting designer: shozo toyohisa
architect: yoshitaka tanase (design coordination/graphic design)


suzuki jimny


the GOOD DESIGN award was founded in 1957 by the japanese ministry of international trade and industry and is hosted by the japan institute for design promotion. the ‘g mark’ emblem reflects comprehensive design values and principles that aim to enrich lives, industries and society.

  • Givning the train the upgrading it needs! Very comforting atmosphere!

    Anette says:

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