Koichi Takada Architects was founded in 2008 by Australian-Japanese architect Koichi Takada. Based in Sydney, Takada Architects tackles organic and natural architecture through a young and contemporary approach. The firm places the earth as their focal point and strives to create a sustainable future. 

Across Australia and overseas, Koichi Takada Architects have worked on a range of projects, both architectural and interior. From multi-use buildings to residential and cultural venues, Koichi Takada Architects work intensely with their clients to deliver a tailored response to the requirements. Since 2010, they have won numerous awards, such as the International Restaurant and Bar Design Award and an International Property Award.

Here are 15 Projects by Koichi Takada Architects:

1. Paperbark Pop-up Restaurant 

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Completion Year: 2019
Type of Work: Commercial

Paperbark Pop-up Restaurant  - Sheet1
Paperbark Pop-up Restaurant Interior ©Koichi Takada Architects

Comprising only 191 square meters, the Paperbark Pop-up Restaurant blends Japanese and Australian cultures to create an overall theme of “slow movement,” and “zero-waste.” Upon entering, a Japanese torii, or bamboo archway, acts as the threshold between the everyday to something sensational. The undulating movement of the Dandenong Ranges in Australia is mimicked by repurposed biodegradable fabric that acts as a cocoon for the guests. 

The organic facade, although simple in form, resembles the expressive and delicate paperbark tree. The overall themes are carried through the space, from the use of native foliage to a “zero-waste” menu that maximizes Australian ingredients while minimizing food waste. Koichi Takada Architects create an emotional bond between the human scale and nature through color, texture, and light.

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Paperbark Pop-up Restaurant ©Koichi Takada Architects
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Paperbark Pop-up Restaurant at Lexus Design Pavilion ©Koichi Takada Architects

2. East Village Urban Marketplace

Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion Year: 2014
Type of Work: Mixed-Use Retail and Dining

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East Village Marketplace ©Tom Ferguson

By placing sustainability as the main focus of the project, Koichi Takada Architects lets nature into the East Village marketplace and showcases its harmonious beauty. Showing authenticity through color, texture, and materiality evokes the senses and feelings of customers and guests. The main theme, “Forests” takes from the architectural concept of mixed-use living in a park. 

Through bringing the outside in, a flow and balance between the exterior and interior environments come to life. Koichi Takada Architects wanted to design a space that gives freedom and removes oneself from daily life. Reflective surfaces mirror the surrounding nature while raw timber and rustic steel materials truly invite the forest into the marketplace. 

Koichi Takada Architects stick firm to their philosophy and design sustainably for maximum comfort. The interior environment features natural lighting, low emission flooring and paints, better air quality, and noise reduction. The East Village urban marketplace was awarded a “5 star Green Star” rating and “Australian Excellence” for its retail design and sustainability.

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East Village ©Sharrin Rees
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East Village ©Turner Payce

3. Infinity by Crown Group

Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion Year: 2020
Type of Work: Mixed-Use Residential

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Infinity North Facing Facade ©Julien Lanoo

Standing at 20 feet tall with 325 apartments, 75 hotel rooms, a 450-seat conference room, and over 30 retail spaces, Infinity is the definition of a mixed-use building. Completed just last year, Infinity is a breathable design shaped by the fluidity of light to accomplish natural cooling effects. 

According to Koichi Takada, “[the inception of the project] was based on the idea of creating a significant opening in the building structure to achieve a natural cooling effect in its internal spaces.” When looking at nature, Koichi Takada Architects were inspired by melting icebergs. Global warming is a major factor in the quickening of melting ice, but icebergs also cool and slow down warming in the southern hemisphere. The opening of the building becomes central to improving internal air quality and thermal comfort by reducing dependency on air conditioning. 

The specific form of Infinity was carved to maximize year-round daylight. The sloping terraces grant more light to the Public Plaza and Green Square Library below the structure. Important design strategies used by Koichi Takada Architects improve not only the user experience but the surrounding environment as well, pushing sustainability and adaptability.

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Iceberg ©David Merron
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South Facing Aerial View of Infinity ©Bryn Donkersloot

4. Skye by Crown Group

Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion Year: 2016
Type of Work: Residential

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Skye by Crown Group ©Tom Ferguson

During the age of skyscrapers and bustling mega-cities, Koichi Takada Architects give a humane feeling to Skye, a high-rise resort and retreat residential project. With beautiful views of Sydney’s skyline, Skye responds to the context of the city while interlacing the natural environment. 

Organically sculpted, Skye features a rippling facade with bamboo-like cylindrical columns that attract the eye upwards and back down. The rooftop, unlike most mega-city high-rises, features an infinity pool and sundeck. Residents can maintain Sydney’s culture of outdoor living while also appreciating the sweeping gestures of the city.

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Skye Facade ©Tom Ferguson
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Bamboo-like Veil ©www.archify.com_my_project_skye

5. Ippudo Sydney

Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion Year: 2012
Type of Work: Dining

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Ippudo Restaurant ©Sharrin Rees

Designed to combine Japanese noodle culture with Australian dining, Ippudo is an art museum of a restaurant. Traditional bowls and spoons are put on display and the culture is further emphasized by the passion of the staff. Ippudo, a famous Japanese ramen chain, is famous for its hand-crafted dishes. Dining at Ippudo includes the cooking processes along with documented routines and recipes. 

The enthusiasm and effort put into the restaurant and cooking experience are translated into the interior design. Koichi Takada Architects give careful attention to detail in material finishes and form. Natural timber curves and welcomes guests, reflecting noodle culture and puts a modern twist on traditional Japanese dining.

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Ippudo Timber Ceiling ©Sharrin Rees
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Ippudo Restaurant ©Sharrin Rees

6. ARC by Crown Group

Location: Sydney, Australia
Completion Year: 2018
Type of Work: Mixed-use Residential

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ARC Exterior ©Koichi Takada Architects

In the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Arc consists of two mixed-use residential towers. With 135 apartments, 86 hotel rooms, cafes, restaurants, and retail, these, “twin towers,” aim to minimize dependency on mechanical services and welcome more natural methods. Featuring a glass elevator at its core, more daylight is allowed in while the stack effect encourages natural ventilation. 

The floor of the project, 17,400-square meters, is given back to the people to allow daily social interaction and wellbeing. Over 300,000 hand-laid bricks not only portray a modern facade but also respond to the character of the surrounding buildings and environment. 

However, to make Arc more distinct, Koichi Takada Architects design 59 arches that cover the entire elevation and form a crown at the rooftop, separating it from the mostly unused adjacent roofs. Like always, nature, and specifically, the Uluru rock of the Northern Territory, is the inspiration for the materiality. The color and texture mirror the earth and unique rocks of Australia. 

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Brick Arches ©Martin Siegner
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Arc Street View ©Tom Ferguson

7. The Waterfront Retreat

Location: Newport, Australia
Completion Year: 2017
Type of Work: Residential

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Waterfront Retreat ©Tom Ferguson

Koichi Takada Architects exemplify the Australian dream home in their project, the Waterfront Retreat. Enhanced with a private beach, garden, and an open-plan, the house offers a haven and leisure. Its location on a sloping waterfront invites nature and expansive views of Pittwater. 

To convey a feeling of levitation, a pattern of rock and floating platforms are presented as cantilevered concrete slabs that hover above the cladded podium. For further emphasis, the slabs taper towards the water. 

Considering the location, Koichi Takada Architects choose to maximize the effect of the changing light year-round by featuring floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, glazing, skylights, and oversized balconies. Overall, the Waterfront Retreat manages to be relaxing and luxurious while connecting daily life to the surrounding environment. 

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Waterfront Retreat Open Plan ©Tom Ferguson
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Newport, Australia Views ©Tom Ferguson

8. National Museum of Qatar Museum Giftshop and Children’s Giftshop

Location: Doha, Qatar
Completion Year: 2019
Type of Work: Retail

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Gift Shop Interior ©Tom Ferguson

The National Museum of Qatar is the world’s first LEED Gold national museum and the recipient of a 4-star sustainability rating. Koichi Takada Architects looked at the Dahl Al Misfir, or the Cave of Light, in central Qatar. The Cave of Light is formed by fibrous gypsum crystals that let off a faint glow. 

Using the nature of Qatar as inspiration, Koichi Takada Architects designs the Gift Shop with generously curved layered wooden surfaces that resemble a glowing desert cave. More than 40,000 individual pieces of sustainable European oak were inserted into a steel structure after being designed with 3D modeling software, CNC. 

Working with Jean Nouvel’s architectural style, Koichi Takada Architects add their touch of the environmental connection while incorporating the landscape of Qatar.

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Gift Shop Interior ©Tom Ferguson
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Gift Shop Interior ©Tom Ferguson

9. TREE Restaurant (Sushi Train Sutherland)

Location: Sutherland, Australia
Completion Year: 2010
Type of Work: Dining 

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TREE Restaurant ©Sharrin Rees

This interior design project recreates Hanami or the traditional Japanese festival of cherry blossom viewing. The custom of dining underneath the cherry blossom celebrates the coming of spring. Koichi Takada Architects use Japanese culture to represent a social gathering place for locals and with hopes for the owner to grow, like a tree. 

Timber is used to create the branches of the tree and echo the comfort and peace of the canopy with light filters in between. As guests move through the restaurant, flickers of light change, highlighting the path of the Sushi while imitating the inconsistency of sunlight. TREE symbolically nurtures guests and creates warmth for a unique Japanese dining experience.

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TREE Restaurant ©Sharrin Rees
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Tree Up Close ©Sharrin Rees

10. Sunflower House

Location: Le Marche, Italy
Completion Year: Unbuilt
Type of Work: Residential  

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Sunflower House ©Doug and Wolf

A hundred years after the Bauhaus’ social and economic influence on society, new global issues are arising. Climate change, pollution, and a growing population increase energy usage and affect the architectural industry. Koichi Takada Architects take the sunflower, and its innate connection to the sun, as a defining symbol of “Form Follows Nature.” 

Each floor and roof of the sunflower house rotate on sensors to gain the most sun exposure. In maximizing or minimizing heat gain and providing user comfort, there is an estimated 40% increase in solar energy production. Koichi Takada Architects keeps it natural and down-to-earth by using earth tubes for natural air conditioning. For farmers in Italy, the Sunflower house is a sustainable and convenient way to live efficiently. 

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Sunflower House ©Doug and Wolf
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Sunflower House ©Doug and Wolf

11. Cave Restaurant (Sushi Train Maroubra)

Location: Maroubra, Australia
Completion Year: 2009
Type of Work: Dining 

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Cave Restaurant ©Sharrin Rees

Koichi Takada Architects’ aim with the Cave Restaurant was to create a new way to chat and eat in dining spaces. The acoustic performance of restaurants can be a driving factor of comfort and pleasure. Using timber, Koichi Takada Architects produce a sound studio atmosphere and an inviting noise of chatter. Through the cave-like form, an intimate experience forms through sound and sight.

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Cave Restaurant ©Sharrin Rees
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Marble Cave ©Getty Images

12. Waterfall by Aria Property Group

Location: Brisbane, Australia
Completion Year: 2019
Type of Work: Residential 

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Waterfall Street View ©Doug and Wolf

The world’s tallest man-made waterfall architecture is featured in Koichi Takada Architects’ residential project, Waterfall. Starting from the rooftop pool deck, water will slowly cascade downwards through glass panels. Mimicking a natural waterfall, a misting effect at the podium of the tower is created on the green walls and ground plants. 

Not only does the water accommodate the plants, but it also creates a cooling effect for passing pedestrians and visitors. Illumination at night further amplifies the waterfall effect and creates a magical experience for passersby. The rooftop deck features indoor and outdoor amenities and offers expansive views towards the Brisbane River.

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Waterfall ©Doug and Wolf
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Waterfall Roof Terraces ©iibec.org

13. Sky Trees

Location: Los Angeles, California
Completion Year: Ongoing
Type of Work: Multi-Residential 

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ky Trees City View © Doug and Wolf

California Redwoods are one of the healthiest trees in the world. With the Sky Trees high-rise, Koichi Takada Architects wanted to make the tower “the healthiest place you can live in downtown LA.” 

Designed to improve the surrounding air quality, the eloquent canopy features green walls and presents an interesting landscape to the downtown scene. Koichi Takada Architects hope to transform the existing warehouse district of Los Angeles into a healthier and more organic neighborhood. Also, hoping to humanize the high-rise, Koichi Takada Architects use modern technology to attach emotion and awe to nature within a bustling downtown. 

The undulating canopy is inspired by the spacious roots of the Redwood and enhances the walkability by directly connecting the human level to the structure. While standing as an art piece, it is also a source of shade and shelter. By considering the human level and bringing down the high-rise, Koichi Takada Architects create an intriguing experience in downtown LA.

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Sky Trees Street View ©Doug and Wolf
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Giant Sequoias ©Shutterstock Images

14. Urban Forest

Location: South Brisbane, Australia
Completion Year: Ongoing
Type of Work: Mixed-Use Residential  

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Urban Forest ©Binyan Studio

Expected to be Australia’s greenest building, Koichi Takada Architects’ Urban Forest is a 30 story Carbon Neutral building covered in trees and plants. With almost 400 apartments, a two-level rooftop garden, and a public park on the ground level, this mixed-use high-use is a contemporary Garden of Eden. The living facade of the structure attains 292% site coverage, accenting thousands of trees and plants from over 250 native species. 

Through raising the podium of the tower, the ground level gives back to the community in the form of surrounding parks. An information center will be included in the park for visitors to learn about the building design and biodiversity. Koichi Takada Architects designed the high-rise to have a staggered arrangement so that each apartment will have its veranda-style balcony. 

Sustainability is an active factor achieved through the vertical gardens that provide natural shade, thermal, and solar insulation. Private and public spaces for the residents, such as a wellness garden and a communal swimming pool, will nurture a sense of community and encourage healthy social interaction that is typically ignored in high-rise residential living.

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Urban Forest City View ©Binyan Studio
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Urban Forest ©Binyan Studio

15. Upper House by Aria Property Group

Location: South Brisbane, Australia
Completion Year: Ongoing
Type of Work: Residential 

Upper House by Aria Property Group - Sheet1
Upper House ©koichitakada.com

Upper House by Koichi Takada Architects is located in a rapidly urbanizing setting with a mix of building forms and densities. Inspired by the Daintree Rainforest in Northeastern Australia, the organic shape and fluid sculpture is emulated in the facade of the building. 

The ribbons that span the length of the building make it distinct in the Brisbane streetscape and reference the roots of the Moreton Bay fig tree native to Queensland. A rooftop infinity pool, like other Koichi Takada’s projects, serves as a leisure communal space with sweeping views of the city. A shaded pergola covers the pool and provides generous shade to the recreational space.

Upper House Roof Level ©koichitakada.com
Upper House ©koichitakada.com




Shatha Abushaikha is an environmental design student in Houston, TX with a passion for writing and research. Aside from being captured by architecture and its endless possibilities, she also enjoys watching anime and painting. Shatha hopes to spread inspiration and believes that people are what drive design.

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