Work begins on Heatherwick Studio's first Japanese project – a giant pergola in Tokyo

Work has begun on Heatherwick Studio’s latest project in Asia – a landscaped, giant "pergola" in central Tokyo.

The mixed-use project will form the heart of Tokyo’s Toranomon-Azabudai district and will sit next to Japan's tallest skyscraper.

Heatherwick has been tasked with creating a public realm and a number of low-rise blocks for a development which also includes a 6,000sq m central landscaped square, offices, residential space, retail units, a school and a temple.

Working with the Mori Building Company to create "an exceptional public district for the city", the space created by Heatherwick Studio is expected to be visited by around 25 million people per year, once it opens in 2023.

"It’s been very exciting working on the Toranomon-Azabudai project and much of our effort has been focused on designing the public spaces that everyone will experience when they spend time in this new area," said Thomas Heatherwick.

"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."

He added that the practice had utilised the site’s irregular shape by designing fluid, undulating volumes, topped off by the planted pergola-type roof.

The design gives a much needed green element to the scheme while echoing "the natural forms of the project’s valley setting".

Heatherwick Studio  pergola  Tokyo  Mori Building Company  mixed-use  
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Work begins on Heatherwick Studio's first Japanese project – a giant pergola in Tokyo
Work has begun on Heatherwick Studio’s latest project in Asia – a landscaped, giant "pergola" in central Tokyo.