Foster + Partners has unveiled its latest commercial project on the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, in Tokyo, Japan. Dubbed the Shibuya Marui Department Store, the nine-storey retail development is set to become a new space for sustainable lifestyle brands, adopting the highest standards of sustainability and core principles of environmental responsibility and wellbeing. The timber structure's design and material selection will significantly reduce the embodied carbon of the building, while simultaneously creating a warm and open experience for visitors.
Marui aims to create a close-knit community of brands and people who share the same sustainable values. The design of the new store aligns with this vision by maximizing daylight and passive thermal comfort, while using natural materials. Inspired by traditional Japanese building techniques, the store features a timber structure that lowers the building’s embodied carbon, and creates a distinctive presence on one of the city’s arterial routes.
The western facade of the building, which looks onto Koen Dori Road, combines an expressed timber structure with a timber balustrade cladding. This achieves an optimal ratio of glazing on the façade, reducing solar gain. The offset service core is located towards the east, further reducing overall heat gain, while the fluted glazing cladding provides a sense of lightness. Visual connections are created between the planted roof garden and the recently opened Miyashita Park to the east and surrounding areas. The roof garden also includes a café and restaurant, and has the potential to include an urban food farm in the future.
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At ground level, the north and south entrances lead to the vertical circulation zone in the east via landscaped bamboo walkways and green walls, which then lead to the department store. In the interior, the building features open plan retail units with timber floors and exposed timber ceilings, in addition to a steel structure which enhances the building’s seismic performance. The building will be powered by renewable energy, part of which will be generated from on-site photovoltaic panels.