London-based architecture firm Heatherwick Studio has been commissioned to design a new district in the center of Tokyo. Officially opened by the Prime Minister of Japan earlier this week, the district is called Azabudai Hills and brings to a close the 30-year effort of one of the country’s leading urban developers.
With Heatherwick Studio serving as the lead architect for the venture, Azabudai Hills comprises residential buildings, retail spaces, a school and two temples. It also features art galleries, offices and restaurants, all placed throughout a sprawling green landscape open to the public.
For the project, the studio set out to create a space that would connect commuters, residents and the public alike and reflect the city’s culture through a mixture of older and contemporary architectural influences. It also wanted the district, an urban space, to contain flowers, trees and lawns. Following its completion, Azabudai Hills is now one of Tokyo’s “Greenest urban areas.”
“We were inspired to create a district that connects with people’s emotions in a diﬀerent way. By combining cultural and social facilities with an extraordinary three-dimensional, explorable, landscape, it’s been possible to oﬀer visitors and the local community somewhere to connect with each other and enjoy open green public spaces,” founder Thomas Heatherwick said. “This is a joyful and unique public place for Tokyo, designed to be cherished for many years.”
Check out some stills from the newly completed Azabudai Hills above.