Impressive New ‘Planted Pergola’ in Tokyo by Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio is known for impressive architectural achievements, designing Vessel and Little Island in NYC, 1000 Trees in Shanghai, and the list goes on and on.

Another stunning project that’s underway in the Toranomon-Azabudai district of Tokyo, near the base of Japan’s tallest new building, is what the studio calls a planted pergola, a building that curves and angles as it rises.

And though it’s dwarfed by the soaring towers behind it, the attractive shape and form feels hugely distinctive, especially in such a mega-city like Tokyo. The addition of ample plants and trees help bring a sense of calm and relief in this new business district.

Set to open in 2023, it will be Heatherwick’s first project in Japan.

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“As a way of combining an architectural construction system with significant amounts of nature we developed the idea of a garden pergola scaled up to district size,” he continued.

“This concept has allowed us to bring an overarching logic to an eight-hectare piece of Tokyo whilst also making space for facilities such as housing, shops, hotels, spas, a school and a temple within the sections framed by the grid.”


-Thomas Heatherwick