Located in Ginza, which is the most renowned commercial district in Japan, and also facing a major junction Sukiyabashi Crossing, Tokyu Plaza Ginza is a large commercial building with a floor area of 50,000 sqm. The site sits at the connection point to Yurakucho and Hibiya disctrict, and can be described as “Gate of Ginza”. Surrounded by roads on all sides, the project is a “1 block full development” which is a rare case in this district.
Based on the concept “Vessel of light”, the building is designed as a glass “vessel” inspired by the Japanese traditional craft of glass cut “Edo Kiriko”. In order to realize a commercial building which interacts with the city, the façade is mainly composed of glass. This reveals the inner activities to the city, and enables an urban feeling. On the other hand, the three-dimensional façade composition results in a diverse optical phenomenon derived from transmission and reflection of sunlight.
The façade shows various expressions changing by time and weather. While attracting with a symbolic form, the reflection of surrounding cityscape and climate makes this architecture merge into the entire cityscape. The Tokyu Ginza Plaza is a harmonic addition to the urbanscape of Ginza.
Facade as urban phenomenon
The facade of this Tokyu Plaza Ginza Building consists of three dimensional glass planes, which creates a delicate phenomenon of light reflection and transmission. In other words, the facade variously reflects the urban scenery, the interior commercial ambience, and the dynamic activities surrounding this building. By reconstituting these diverse scenic elements, the building facade transforms itself into an urban phenomenon.
SSG was adopted so as not to expose the framing of the glass. Like a carved glass pattern seen on the surface of Edo Kiriko, the facade creates a large 3D diamond shaped pattern, which is 6 stories high and 500 mm deep. This large scale pattern of the façade makes the building stand out from the surrounding context.
The unitized glass assembly is comprised of both low iron glass and heat reflective coated glass, in a way that emphasizes the three-dimensional profile of the building form. The low iron glass panel is treated with a 1mm ceramic dot pattern of gradient density. At night this plane is illuminated by light fixtures integrated into the interior aluminum mullions.
Elevated Public Space
The KIRIKO LOUNGE is a public space situated at the middle level of the building, providing a broad view of the city. By its 27 meter high atrium, and the vantage point above the heavy traffic of the Sukiyabashi Crossing, the lounge opens up to the commercial activities of the city.
In the high density and limited spatial conditions of Ginza, such an open and elevated space offers an opportunity for people to gather, and create connection. The continuity between the architecture and urban context promotes the attractive nature of this city. This three dimensional interpretation of urban space will generate a new chance to produce activities not limited within the site but also involving the urban context.
Architects: Nikken Sekkei
Photographs: Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Inc.
Manufacturers: FUJITEC, Panasonic, Permasteelisa, Toto
Interior Works: Nikken Sekkei + infix design inc.
C&S [Civil&Structural Engineer]: Yuji Yamano + Satoru Ueno / Nikken Sekkei
M&E [Mechanical&Electrical Engineer]: Kosuke Sato + Koichiro Hara / Nikken Sekkei
Client: Tokyu Land Corporation
Site Area: 3,767m2
Article courtesy of architects