Tokyo, Japan‘s Toranomon-Azabudai District, is a large-scale new construction. The project will turn a vacant space into a vibrant mixed-use zone, making it an icon of the city. The project will include residential, commercial, and cultural spaces spread across 1.3 million square meters of floor space. The Toranomon-Azabudai District is intended to be a smart city that strongly emphasises innovation, sustainability, and community.

The Toranomon-Azabudai District’s design philosophy, ideas, materials, and construction are all covered in this article. We will also discuss the project’s stakeholders, the design team, headlines, responses to project suggestions, and the building’s future.

Project in-depth: Toranomon-Azabudai Districtv - Sheet1
Toranomon-Azabudai Tower_©Rethinktokyo

Design Team | Toranomon Azabudai

A top-notch design team with some of the most well-known architects and designers worldwide is currently working on the Toranomon-Azabudai District project. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a Danish architectural firm renowned for its avant-garde and environmentally responsible designs, is the project’s primary architect. Nikken Sekkei, an architectural firm with offices in Tokyo, and Bureau Bas Smets, a landscape architecture firm with offices in Brussels, are two other businesses involved in the project.

The design team collaborated closely with the developers to produce a concept that is visually appealing, environmentally responsible, and considers neighbourhood needs. The Tokyo Tower and neighbouring parks were considered throughout the development phase as the project’s location and natural resources.

Design Philosophy

The Toranomon-Azabudai District’s design philosophy is to provide a pleasant, sustainable neighbourhood incorporated into the urban setting. The project aspires to create a functional but also beautiful, and inspiring environment, focusing on the environment, the community, and the future. The Toranomon-Azabudai District aims to build a “vertical garden city.” A natural setting will be created in the centre of the metropolis thanks to the concept’s extensive use of plants and outdoor areas. A community centre, a library, and a kindergarten are just a few features the project will have.

Project in-depth: Toranomon-Azabudai Districtv - Sheet2
Pergola Structure and Landscape_©DBOX Mori Building Co.

Wide pathways, roadways lined with trees, and other pedestrian-friendly elements will be included in the construction. The design team prioritises sustainability, incorporating solar panels, green roofs, and rainwater collection. The project aims to create a smart city with components like an intelligent transportation system, a waste management system, and a digital infrastructure. The design team envisioned a location to create a brand-new urban hotspot in Tokyo and provide locals and visitors with a first-rate place to live and work.

Materials and Technology Used

The Toranomon-Azabudai District project will be built with the latest cutting-edge, environmentally friendly and sustainable building materials and construction technology. The project will use various materials, including steel, glass, and wood. The project will include several environmentally friendly elements, including solar panels, green roofs, and rainwater collection systems. Energy-efficient features like LED lighting and effective heating and cooling systems will be included in the project’s design.

Design Proposal and Reactions | Toranomon Azabudai

The architectural proposals for the Toranomon-Azabudai District have generated a lot of discussion and interest in Japan and worldwide. Although the project has garnered praise for its innovative design and focuses on sustainability, it has also drawn criticism from some who are concerned about how the project will impact the neighbourhood. One of the project’s most notable design elements is the “towers in the park” idea, which calls for constructing a series of high-rise buildings ringed by a central park. The park will provide open-to-all amenities like green spaces, walking paths, and other features. The design encourages green spaces, reducing the building’s environmental impact.

Bird-eye View, Toranomon-Azabudai District_©Architizer

Nonetheless, some locals and community organisations have voiced worries about the project’s effects on the neighbourhood. Since the Toranomon-Azabudai District is in a highly crowded area of Tokyo, some locals worry that the development may worsen problems like congestion and overworked infrastructure. Concerns have also been raised regarding the project’s possible effects on the environment and local property prices.

To ease community concerns and make the project more sensitive to neighbourhood desires, the project’s creators and design team have taken action in response to these concerns. One of the many housing alternatives the project intended to include is affordable housing for low-income families. The developers have also agreed to construct a community centre as part of their pledge, which will be accessible to neighbours and offer various services and programs.

Stakeholders Involved

Mitsui Fudosan and Tokyo Tatemono, two of Japan’s finest real estate developers, worked together to build the Toranomon-Azabudai District. It is estimated that the project will be finished in 2023, having started in 2018. The 8.1-hectare development site lies in the heart of Tokyo, near Toranomon Hills and the Tokyo Tower. 

Future of the Building | Toranomon Azabudai

The Toranomon-Azabudai District project is anticipated to be finished in 2023, and there is a lot of interest in how it might affect the neighbourhood and the city. The project is intended to be a landmark construction that will establish new guidelines for urban development in Tokyo and elsewhere.

As it advances, there will probably be additional discussions and disputes concerning the project’s impact.


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New skyscraper in Tokyo rises to dizzying 330 meters in the air: The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan news and analysis (2022) The Asahi Shimbun. Available at: (Accessed: February 22, 2023).

Ravenscroft, T. (2021) Heatherwick Studio reveals designs for “gigantic planted pergola” in Tokyo, Dezeen. Available at: (Accessed: February 22, 2023).

Stevens, P. (2021) Tokyo’s Toranomon-Azabudai District to feature work by Pelli Clarke Pelli + Heatherwick Studio, designboom. Available at: (Accessed: February 23, 2023).

Toranomon-Azabudai District Main Tower, Tokyo (no date) Toranomon-Azabudai District Main Tower – the skyscraper center. Available at: (Accessed: February 24, 2023).

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Osama Nasir is a creative architecture student with a passion for art and history & a serendipitous explorer as a person. He believes architecture is made up of millions of untold stories preserved in heritage and culture. He wants to portray his concepts into the field of architecture by considering the community needs and bringing the past into the future with a minimal approach.