Mori Building Co President and CEO Shingo Tsuji stands with models of the company's newest redevelopment project in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: MAI SHOJI
business

Mori Building announces massive urban regeneration project in central Tokyo

31 Comments
By Mai Shoji

Mori Building Co, one of Japan's major urban landscape developers, on Thursday announced it has begun construction on its Toranomon-Azabudai District Category 1 Urban Redevelopment Project, a project aimed at revitalizing a large area of central Tokyo. It will include residences, offices, a luxury hotel, retail shops, restaurants, cultural facilities, and an international school.

The landscape developer has become the epitome of capitalism in Tokyo, especially within Minato ward, forging signature landmarks such as the Ark Hills complex, Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills and Toranomon Hills.

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“We’ve put together everything we’ve learned from our past projects into this new development,” Shingo Tsuji, president and CEO of Mori Building Co Ltd, revealing the cost of this new project at 580 billion yen.

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Its core concept is “Modern Urban Village” covering approximately 8.1 hectares - as stated by Mori, a good comparison to New York’s Rockefeller Center. Although the proportion seems less than Mori Co's previous projects, the new project will occupy more floor space, with a 330-meter-tall, 64-story main tower and a few more buildings, in which some 20,000 workers and 3,500 residents are expected to work and live.

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With safety and security measures of paramount importance, the city-within-a-city is designed to create a space to escape to, rather than flee from, and a retreat into urban nature surrounded by greenery. As for eco-friendliness, 100% of the electricity supplied to the neighborhood will be generated from renewable resources.

The core theme is “Green & Wellness” which offers more than two hectares of green space, including a huge 6,000 square-meter central square filled with nature. The future city will also furnish a healthier society. A medical facility, spa and fitness club, a food market, and vegetable gardens will all be linked through a membership program.

The entire city is aimed at becoming a place of learning, a workplace, a home, and a playground. “Studying and learning become very important to building a diverse city," said Tsuji. "I believe there aren’t enough international schools in Japan compared to our surrounding countries, so we invited the British International School with student nationalities covering 50 countries.”

According to Tsuji, the philosophy of the late former CEO of Mori was to challenge new things, “otherwise the world will never change. When you settle for compromise, you will never be satisfied with the end product.” Tsuji added: “Some people comment that Mori Building never seems to fail. But in fact, we don’t stop until we succeed, so it only looks as though we have never failed.”

It has taken the Toranomon-Azabudai project 30 years to come this far and its completion is scheduled for the end of March 2023.

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© Japan Today

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31 Comments
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As if Tokyo wasn't beautiful and ultramodern already.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well the future is about looking forward. I think it looks quite interesting. The future of our overpopulated planet probably will be supercenters like this.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

As if Tokyo wasn't beautiful and ultramodern already.

Exactly just leave it like it is so it can keep at least some if its soul and uniqueness intact.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I fondly remember my first visits to Tokyo midway the 1990's when Akihabara still had its skating pools, ever since then project developers have begun gradually sucking the soul out if this beautiful city.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It will be too close to Tokyo Tower.

If you want to take pictures of Tokyo Tower, or take in the view from one of TT's observation decks, all you will see it this over-sized block of glass.

Can't they build it somewhere else?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

...forging signature landmarks such as the Ark Hills complex, Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills and Toranomon Hills.

I despise every one of these places and I avoid them every time I'm in Tokyo. They have no soul and are only good for sucking money out of you.

I always head to other places that have developed organically and that actually have flavor rather than to these places that have been stripped apart and made into steel and glass neutron malls.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Please change the design. Something cool and eye catching.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SpeedToday 08:31 am JST

...forging signature landmarks such as the Ark Hills complex, Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills and Toranomon Hills.

I despise every one of these places and I avoid them every time I'm in Tokyo. They have no soul

I agree. 'Urban regeneration' is a phrase to be wary of. Whether this plan is worthwhile really depends on what's on the site at the moment. I've visited Tokyo four times and one of the many great things about that city is discovering neighbourhoods that have grown organically without the so-called benefits of "urban regeneration" and which retain their charm and character.

But I don't know this area. Is this site going to destroy something worthwhile that can't be replaced, or is it a genuine improvement on whatever's there at the moment?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry, I was going to say - because looking at the lead photo, I don't see any evidence of cutting edge architectural style and innovation in those monster towers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But I don't know this area. Is this site going to destroy something worthwhile that can't be replaced, or is it a genuine improvement on whatever's there at the moment?

As another poster said, just look how it will block out one of Tokyo's iconic landmarks Tokyo Tower.

I don't see any evidence of cutting edge architectural style and innovation in those monster towers.

You are right they look very bland indeed as do Ark Hills complex, Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills and Toranomon Hills.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A twitter user posted a nice picture of an antique building yesterday. Which makes me wonder, if many people like that style, why do they still insist on building dystopian glass/concrete structures. Use the current design rules but build something that has a soul. Oh yeah lets place 2 trees to show it will be so green like you're at a nice park. pffff

5 ( +6 / -1 )

why do they still insist on building dystopian glass/concrete structures.

To make all global megacities look alike in 20-30 years time, walking through Ark Hills complex, Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills and Toranomon Hills could make you very easily imagine being in another modern megacity outside of Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TawkeeoToday 07:17 am JST

As if Tokyo wasn't beautiful and ultramodern already.

You've clearly never been to Takashimadaira, Tama New Town or the crumbling danchi of East Tokyo.

Similar developments in London and elsewhere now feature facial recognition technology and the privatisation of public space. I wonder if Mori will introduce such features here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

the crumbling danchi of East Tokyo.

haha nicely put. Ben leaving in Katsushika-ku for 12 years and loving it! Tateishi area has so much vibe . If you guys are looking to take a trip back to Showa Jidai hit this spot.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These places could be in any city and destroy the character of Tokyo. Why would anyone want to travel to Japan to see these rectangular boxes? Despite the guff about oases and greenery, the only reason they build these towers is to maximise profits.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe its just me but vast majority of new highrises in Japan just seem so conservative and bland, close to boring in terms of design comparing to whats going up in other countries , eg Dubai and rest of ME, China etc...I know Japan is coservative by nature but still...a bit more color and adventurous design would make the "new" Tokyo so much more interesting.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

in Minato-ku... what a surprise. -_-

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and in top of Tokyo Tower... i mean, seriously

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe its just me but vast majority of new highrises in Japan just seem so conservative and bland, close to boring in terms of design comparing to whats going up in other countries

I'm no engineer or architect, but my guess is that earthquake proofing really limits the creative possibilities in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ugly and dangerous. Also outdated. With Japan defining population these oversized garbage bins will likely go broke.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Temples to capitalism. No concept of human scale or spirit. People are shown sitting down, but only in a cafe where they have to pay.

Japan has empty buildings all across the country. Schools with no students, shopping arcades with no customers, train lines with no passengers. Ramming more people into the same trains to go to some edifice in Tokyo is not progress. Concentrating more economic activity in Tokyo is not how you build resilience against that big one all the seismologists say is coming.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Great, excelent !!.. TOKYO BEST CITY OF THE WORLD !!..

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If you are looking for a biggest overview of the project :

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190821005445/en/Mori-Building-Unveils-Massive-Urban-Regeneration-Project

Looking at the video, I think the area will be better off with this area used to create a forest park : so many building all around.

No opinion about the project in itself, not enough information.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

330-meter-tall, 64-story main tower

I think that will make it the tallest building in Japan. I'm guessing it's mainly intended to put those pesky Osakans in their place.

Ramming more people into the same trains to go to some edifice in Tokyo is not progress.

It's hard to disagree with that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope they made something classier than Roppongi Hills, the temple of masochism and confusion. The tower lobby is like a prison, with not a single place to sit and claustrophobic. Scores of tired people standing while waiting in an environment with all the charm of a bus station.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Wonderful!!! That area was a dump, so this is a great addition to Tokyo, good job Mori!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

See that building with the 2 rings on its roof... I've heard that it belongs to some sort of "Cult/Religion"... so no wonder Mori had to build around it. (I just hope that the Cult/Religion doesn't turn out to be another "Aum Shinrikyo"...)

That said, Mori appears to be betting that Japan will have a revival... which is optimistic. Perhaps his only hope is the sudden decline of HK and the relocation of Finance to Tokyo, to make it, the Financial hub of Asia ... rather than being an "Asia-ex-Japan"... were that to happen, then yes, this project would shine, and he'd make a whopping amount of $/Yen.

Note: Ark Hills... is better known as Dark Hills ... and should be torn down.

I wonder if the Russian Embassy will relocate to somewhere else as a consequence of this ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Alfie Noakes - who needs Facial recognition, when you have 1000's of Surveillance Camera's and a huge Police force - that's essentially how a lot of Criminals eventually get tracked down... such as the recently documented Umbrella in the eye stabber.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Apparently it's also going to be the tallest building in Japan.. so I wonder, do the top floors get their own elevator shafts ? The Morning rush will be a pain, unless you have a flying car... but wait.. where will it be parked ? Clearly - unless Mori has future proofed this one , you will still be faced with the long elevator ("stopping at all stations") drop to ground floor....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

will all be linked through a membership program

So this will be a walled garden it seems

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because we really do need another Mori building in the middle of Tokyo. Sigh.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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