Daikayama's skyline welcomed its first major development in years with the inauguration of Forestgate Daikanyama. This commercial complex, a short two-minute stroll from Daikanyama Station, opened its doors on October 19.
Designed by Kengo Kuma, the distinctive geometric structure is reminiscent of wooden boxes stacked into a tall tower, complete with a facade of timber slats strategically lined to optimise airflow. The design not only gives the building a distinctive character but also aligns with a minimal waste philosophy in that the timber slats can be disassembled and relocated for future upcycling.
Landscape architect Taichi Saito further reinforces the building's ecological focus, planting trees on the balconies to buffer the interior from strong sunlight. Additionally, a flourishing rooftop garden contributes to the complex's biodiverse catalogue of over 400 plant species.
The complex is divided into two sections – the main building and the Tenoha building. The former has one basement level and ten storeys above ground. The three lower levels are dedicated to an array of eateries and shops like Blue Bottle Coffee and a soon-to-open Jo Malone flagship store, while office spaces and residences occupy the upper floors.
In contrast, the Tenoha building is a hub for social interaction. There are just two storeys featuring a flower shop, café and event space, along with a second rooftop garden.
Vertical gardens are a fast-growing trend among Tokyo's newest commercial developments and Forestgate Daikanyama is just one of the latest to embrace this blend of greenery and natural timber. Continuing this movement, Tokyu Plaza Harajuku Harakado is set to open in spring 2024, further integrating natural elements into the urban landscape.
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