Won in limited competition against a list of international architects including Cesar Pelli, KPF, and Kengo Kuma, Conran and Partners has completed Tokyo's single largest development in the last 10 years, as both design architect and supervisor since 2004.
The scheme, located on the southwest edge of the city alongside the Tama River, comprises a total of 400,000 square meters of retail, office, leisure, and residential building, as well as a new city park. The first phase of the project, launched in March 2011, comprised 260,000 square meters of mixed use development including two department stores, a retail galleria, an office building, three residential towers ranging from 28 to 40 stories, as well as two low-rise residential buildings, providing a total of 1,000 apartments.
The recently completed final phase of construction creates an additional 140,000 square meters of development including retail, a cinema complex, TV studio, and leisure uses, surrounding a 30-story office building surmounted by a three-story hotel.
Conran and Partners' design concept for the project responds to the essential elements of the site: its location on the very edge of Tokyo, its adjacency to the Tamagawa River and the shift across its 1-kilometer length, from the urbanity of the railway station to the west, to the park to the east. As such, the scheme reflects the site's important transitionary role at the threshold between city and nature in this popular, family-orientated neighborhood.
A unifying landscaped plateau has been created across the whole site through which a ribbon element defines the journey: a promenade celebrating this transitional route. The individual building designs respond to their specific location along the route, with a bolder use of color adjacent to the railway station, becoming lighter and more delicate in detail towards the park.
The scheme's references to nature are expressed as stone strata, both as eroding planes within the base plateau and in the stepping form of the low-rise buildings. The project is the first in Japan to achieve LEED ND Gold Standard (Pre-Certified Plan) – equivalent to the UK BREEAM 'Excellent'.