One Omotesando | Kengo Kuma and Associates
©Mitsumasa Fujitsuka

Japan 2003One Omotesando

Tokyo
Office | Residential | Cafe/Restaurant/Retail
Completed
8F / 2BF

The project is the head office building of a fashion group that stands at the entrance to Omotesando, often called the most beautiful avenue in Tokyo.

Omotesando is a picturesque boulevard lined on both sides with huge zelkova trees that leads to Meiji Shrine, the largest Shinto shrine in Tokyo. My aim was to make these trees resonate and not conflict with the building. We created a mullion; 45 cm deep with laminated wood made of larch supporting the curtain wall. The stems would resonate with the lumber and the vertical lines of mullions would resonate with vertical lines of the trees. The wooden mullion also resonates with Meiji Shrine’s wooden architecture.

The mullion contributes to energy conservation by shielding the interior from direct sunlight and mitigates the greenhouse effect by fixing carbon dioxide production. Although Japan’s Building Standard Law prohibits the use of wood on the exterior walls of buildings in large urban areas we were able to obtain special permission by installing a drencher on the outside wall.

In the past Tokyo was a city of wooden architecture. The human scale of wooden buildings and the warmth and softness of this natural material made Tokyo uniquely appealing. After the Second World War, however, Tokyo was invaded by huge concrete buildings, destroying its charm as a city. My wish is to restore Tokyo’s attractiveness by making use of the power that wood has, and to reconstruct a more “human” city. I hope this project on Omotesando will be a start.

Team Teppei Fujiwara*, Sayaka Mizuno* Cooperation Oak Structural Design Facility P.T.Morimura & Associates Accumulation 高輪建築事務所 Publication GA JAPAN 163 , GA JAPAN 142 , Casa BRUTUS 2013/06 vol.159 , DETAIL 2009/Summer No.181 , Nikkei Architecture 2005/12/26 No.812 , DETAIL 2004/01 No.159 , Casa BRUTUS 2004/01 vol.46 , JA : The Japan Architect 2004/winter 52 2003YEARBOOK , Nikkei Architecture 2003/11/10 , GA JAPAN 65 , GA JAPAN 65 , Shinkenchiku 2003/11 , Tokyojin 2003/04 No.189 , Casa BRUTUS 2002/11 Vol.32 Photography ©︎ Mitsumasa Fujitsuka