kazuyo sejima designs high-speed japanese train to feel like a living room on wheels

kazuyo sejima designs high-speed japanese train to feel like a living room on wheels

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.

kazuyo sejima laview
all images courtesy of seibu railway



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.

kazuyo sejima laview



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)

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

    Anette says:

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