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Tokyo, 2019

Landscape Architects: Landscape Plus
Structure: Kinbako Structural Design Office
Lighting:Tomita Lighting Design Office
Garden: IBIDEN Green Tech
Client: Isetan Mitsukoshi

Change: inserting a contemporary stroll garden onto the rooftop of a century-old department store

Located high above the busy streets of Nihombashi, this retreat offers an interpretation of a green roof that responds to a historically significant neighbourhood, while engaging with contemporary issues of biodiversity and urban heat. Influenced by the Japanese concept of the garden and the interior space as one unit, a gable-roofed space with an awning looks out across a rectangular reflective pool into surrounding gardens of native plants. Working with the rooftop structure was a major design challenge, requiring the fusing of the pillars of the gable roof onto the existing building and the positioning of the pool, designed to be just 30 mm in depth, over the atrium, which is the roof’s weakest point. The space operates with a sense of openness and retreat -the retractable awnings offer shelter and can block out the surrounding urban skyscrapers, while smaller intimate garden spaces highlight seasonal change and re-establish habitats for birds and insects.

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