Located near the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the new Otemachi tower is tucked into a kind of forest measuring thirty-six hundred square meters, directly connected with Otemachi station and its five metro lines. The landscape is neither a square nor a park. Through its vegetation, its topography, and the presence of water, the forest was conceived in a sufficiently dense and lush manner to lessen the urban heat island phenomenon in this area in the heart of the city. Furthermore, trees are interspersed along the vast mineral surfaces in order to provide comfort and warmth to the flow of pedestrian urban traffic. The significant amount of activity taking place on Naka-dori street passes through the forest before spreading out into the surrounding neighborhoods.
The forest constitutes a key element within the network of many small gardens that cover the city. Because each of these gardens has an official status, they are all maintained, and constantly conjure up the presence of nature in the city. The project has the ambition of providing an urban ecosystem directly linked with the regeneration of the city. Following research into which flora and fauna would be suitable for the site's environment, and repeated exchanges with botanists, we selected a large diversity of plants, of large tress (including the Akagashi tree, a Japanese variety of green oak), and of plant ground cover of varying size and age.
An innovative “pre-forest” approach allowed for the preparation and adaptation of numerous plant strata outside of the city, during the year before their actual establishment on site. Following its inauguration in 2013, the urban forest immediately had an impact through the force of its presence.
Michel Desvigne, Paysagiste
Nihon Sekkei, Construction supervision
1,1 ha (2,7 acres)