Shinjuku Gardens / Cheungvogl

Courtesy of Cheungvogl

Cheungvogl shared with us one of their latest projects, Shinjuku Gardens, in , . See more images and architect’s description after the break.

Courtesy of Cheungvogl

Land is scarce in the inner city of Tokyo and restful green spaces few and far between. ‘Shinjuku Gardens’ – in the thriving hub of Tokyo’s inner city, is a conscious effort to make the most of the available open space; pushing boundaries in a quest to amalgamate much needed natural landscape into the infrastructure of the city. The project raises economical, social, environmental and cultural awareness on various aspects. The design strategies aim to maximize investment returns by providing more than double the amount of car parking spaces; optimize opportunities to inject greenscape to reduce CO2 exhaust emissions, and promote the arts and culture by offering spaces for art exhibitions in the city centre of Tokyo.

Courtesy of Cheungvogl

‘Shinjuku Gardens’ proposes to replace an existing open (80 number) car parking lot with a 2-storey car park; rendering the site with a sheltered ‘green-wall-gallery’ which will accommodate an additional 83 parking spaces. Appreciating the economical value of land, the car park adopts the most efficient parking layout grid. Replacing conventional car ramps with car lifts will maximize parking spaces; minimize traffic congestion, safety hazards and waiting time. This highly rational 54m x 33m parking structure occupies 22% less site coverage compare to the existing layout, leaving more quality public green spaces and allowing light and air to penetrate deeper into the already dense urban environment. External pedestrian ramps are inserted to provide public access to the rooftop garden and park-gallery above ground.

Courtesy of Cheungvogl

The simple, restrained and clear material palette subtlety blends in with the existing city fabric. The ‘soft-cladding’ of the structure is characterised by the wide balustrades to allow grass to coat the exterior of the frame, creating layers of ‘green living-walls’ as enclosures to the structure. Visually, the architecture enriches the community with layers of translucent green-curtains while shielding the views of parked cars. Functionally, the ‘soft-cladding’ utilizes the fields of grass to absorb CO2 exhaust emissions, acting as clean air filters between the buildings.

The rooftop garden is a new green oasis above the dedicated car park facility. This intimate social space above the infrastructure and man-made concrete structure is freely accessible and animated by the public at all times. Rainwater harvesting systems are incorporated to enhance the flow capacity, reduction of drainage runs, reduction of pipe sizes and reduction of debris blockage as rainwater infiltrates into the underground drainage systems.

Courtesy of Cheungvogl

The two levels of car parks are envisaged as park-galleries, where artists are invited to exhibit their artworks. Using structural columns and structural slabs as blank canvases for artists to create art might be a new culture to bring the arts into the everyday lives. Exhibiting art within found spaces is undoubtedly an economically viable and functionally manageable alternative to make the arts more accessible to the public. The project blurs between architecture and art; turning a conventional car park project into a Street Art Museum – looking deeper into the everyday ordinary environment to seek surprising findings.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Shinjuku Gardens / Cheungvogl" 14 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    Remainds me book shelves… Maybe it should not be so straight…

  • Fanbu

    Looks cool. I wonder what will this place look like in winter. Will it be all concrete? I know Tokyo has cold winter.

  • weber

    Seems like this firm is always showing work without clients. Did they dream up the project again? Check out their website projects, all very beautiful but also very frivolous if there is no real client with constraints…

  • DLbingo
  • Wurlitzer

    Silently striking: this idea is just as simple as brilliant. It seems so easy, I wonder, why hasn’t this be done before?

    @weber: get yourself out of your depression. If you wonder why your design doesn’t convince clients, maybe it’s just because of your attitude. Or maybe you should just apply to these guys…

    • Weber

      Wurlitzer, such harsh words..chill…maybe you are already on their payroll. Guys please build something instead of just renders…

  • architecture addict

    Very beautiful project. It’s amazing that this simple idea can turn into something poetic and enconomically profitable at the same time. Tokyo has far too many cars and rooftop carparks that seem to do very little to create green public spaces, this is a fantastic project.

  • Kiel

    Stunning design from Japan, once again!