Text description provided by the architects. THE STATION
Tokyo Station is the city’s main train station, accommodating both high-speed rail and regional commuter trains. The station’s tracks and passenger platforms are elevated so that pedestrians can enter the station either from the west (Marunouchi) or from the east (Yaesu), pass by ground level retail, and proceed up to their departing trains. The west entrance faces the city’s business district and is the historic entrance to the station. By contrast the east entrance was underdeveloped, and in 2002 JAHN won an invited design competition to redevelop the Yaesu entrance with a new station front and flanking office towers.
The two office towers frame the station entrance and establish a strong urban gate leading from Yaesu to Marunouchi, with the station entrance as its focal point. The all glass towers employ a fully transparent “airflow façade” that uses a 15 cm deep façade cavity to capture and vent the solar impact before it penetrates the building skin, creating highly energy efficient towers with clear glass, flooded with natural light. At night, the two towers are illuminated from within, becoming lit beacons that mark Tokyo Station in the cityscape.
The Canopy at the Tokyo Station Yaesu Redevelopment creates a new image for the station.
For many visitors, it is the first and last impression of the city. While standing in contrast to the old station, it defines and distinguishes the Yaesu District from the Marunouchi District to the west. Durability and low-maintenance are inherent in the Canopy’s technology; the simple design is defined as a straight line between two shifted towers. The 234-meter long Canopy is conceived as a large flat textile panel fixed in a straight line at the track edge and supported on steel frames of varying heights and angles spaced at 18-meter intervals. The variation in height and angle gives the Canopy its simple yet distinctive profile. The textile panel is suspended from the steel framework allowing the surface of the Canopy to be a continuous luminous plane. The structure can be seen through the textile surface and is read like the veins of a leaf, while structures under the canopy provide an upper level connection to the two office towers, station, and retail.