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Heatherwick reveals ‘pergola’ complex for mixed-use Tokyo scheme

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Heatherwick Studio has revealed designs for a ‘planted pergola’ complex at the heart of a major new scheme in Tokyo, Japan

Work has now started on the 8ha plot which includes retail units and a 6,000m² landscaped square in the wider development of the Toranomon-Azabudai district.

With a total floor area of 860,400m², the Mori Building Company’s city quarter will be similar in size to New York’s Rockefeller Center, and will include shops, restaurants, office space, 1,400 flats and a hotel.

The project includes three huge towers by Pelli Clarke Pelli and shops designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto.

190822 hs tora asa view 1 credit crop1

190822 hs tora asa view 1 credit crop1

Thomas Heatherwick said the project was inspired by the idea of a garden pergola ‘scaled up to district size’.

He said: ‘As many new developments around the world can be harsh and sterile, we wondered if we could provide a more human-centred alternative by integrating surprisingly intense quantities of planting and greenery.

‘This concept has allowed us to bring an overarching logic to an 8ha 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.’ 

Heatherwick Studio group leader Neil Hubbard said the design echoed the setting’s valley topography and created an undulating arrangement that uses a ‘pergola-like structural system to create a variety of landscape spaces, from hidden gardens to sunken courtyards’.

The Toranomon-Azabudai project is Heatherwick Studio’s first to begin construction in Japan. Completion is due in March 2023

190822 panoramic view (day) credit heatherwick studio l dbox for mori building

190822 panoramic view (day) credit heatherwick studio l dbox for mori building

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