Tokyu Kabukicho Tower
Daici Ano

Tokyu Kabukicho Tower

Yuko Nagayama & Associates as Façade / Interior (hotel entrance, theater foyer) Designer

Yuko Nagayama & Associates designed the façade of TOKYU KABUKICHO TOWER - Over 4000 glass panels printed on the surface representing the fountain that was once there.

This super high-rise building in Tokyo’s Kabukicho district, near Shinjuku Station, spans five basement floors and 48 stories above ground and has a total floor area of approximately 87,400m2. The largest entertainment complex in Japan, the building contains a cinema, a theater, a live venue, and a host of other functions. We worked on the building’s exterior design and part of the interior design.

photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano
photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano

Kabukicho is one of the world’s most bustling nightlife districts. In an effort to lift the spirits of the city’s inhabitants in the wake of World War II, a plan was conceived in the private sector to build an entertainment district where people could enjoy themselves and unwind. Subsequently, the area was chosen as the venue for a cultural exposition. After the exposition, the site was converted into an entertainment district, and Kabukicho was born—a rare example of a private-sector initiative in Japan’s postwar reconstruction planning.

After considering what type of skyscraper would be appropriate given Kabukicho’s historical background, we decided the design should not express authority or power, as is common with traditional skyscrapers. As the plaza in front of the building once contained a fountain, we opted to incorporate this element into the design as a symbolic tribute to the vitality and energy that emanates from the people in Kabukicho. Fountains are formless; without momentum from below, the fountain disappears. This ephemeral, wavering form has become a new symbol of the Kabukicho district.

photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano
photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano

The building’s upper façade is made of glass, with ceramic-dot patterns printed on the surface representing the spray of the fountain. Below these, meticulously detailed ceramic-printed wave patterns adorn the glass surface, while arches drawn along the window perimeters using gradient shading express the motion of spouting water. Whether viewed from up close or afar, the design creates an impression that corresponds to the scale. The lower part of the façade is made of cast aluminum, its lace-like pattern also incorporating traditional Japanese waveform motifs to create a translucent exterior.

photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano
photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano

Our work on the building’s interior design includes the first-floor passageway, the entrance, the first-floor lounge of the Bellustar Tokyo hotel, and the foyer and bar of the Theater Milano-Za, which occupies the sixth through ninth floors. The passageway ceiling is designed to resemble undulating waves, and the lounge windows give the impression of water flowing through chain-link fencing. The walls of the theater foyer are made of tubular pieces of aluminum; here as well, the design evokes the image of a fountain, creating an environment that provides theatergoers with an escape from the mundane. The interior design also encompasses artwork produced in collaboration with various artists; decorative objects in the lounge, paintings and photos on the walls, and original works on the foyer floor bring the space to life.

We hope that this new symbol of Kabukicho—its ethereal form at times seeming to dissolve phantom-like into the clouds—will ensure the enduring spirit of the district lives on into the future.

photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano
photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano

Team:
Client: Tokyu Corporation and Tokyu Recreation Co.,Ltd.
Architects: Kume Sekkei Co, Ltd. and Tokyu Architects & Engineers INC. Consortium
Façade / Interior (hotel entrance, theater foyer) Designer: Yuko Nagayama & Associates
Constructor: Shimizu Corporation and Tokyu Construction Co.,Ltd. Consortium
Photographer: Daici Ano, Tomoyuki Kusunose

photo_credit Daici Ano
Daici Ano
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