March 2011 saw the grand opening of the first phase of Conran and Partners' 20 hectare urban regeneration project in the Futako Tamagawa neighbourhood of Tokyo.
Won in limited international competition in 2004, the project located on the south-west edge of the city alongside the Tamagawa River, is currently Tokyo's single largest development and when completed will provide a total of 400,000 sq m of retail, office, leisure and residential buildings, as well as a new city park.
The recently completed first phase of the project includes 260,000 sq m of mixed-use development including two department stores, a retail galleria, an office building, 3 residential towers ranging from 28 to 40 storeys as well as 2 low rise residential buildings, providing a total of 1000 apartments.
The first of the office buildings to be constructed within the Futako Tamagawa Rise mixed-use masterplan is located next to the railway station and forms one side of a new retail galleria. The 11 storeys of office accommodation provide 26,000 sq m of gross area and sit above 5 storey's of retail space, with commanding views south over the Tamagawa River.
For the overall masterplan, Conran and Partners design responds to the essential elements of the site; its location on the very edge of Tokyo, its adjacency to the Tamagawa River and the shift across the one kilometre linear site from the urbanity of the railway station to the west to the planned park to the east. As such, it reflects the important transitionary role the site plays at the boundary between city and nature.
A landscaped stone plateau is created over the whole site through which a ribbon route defines the journey; a promenade celebrating this transition. The buildings then reflect their position along the route, being more solid and vibrant in the commercial area, with bold use of colour around the railway station and becoming lighter and more delicate in detail in the residential area adjacent to the park.
Conran and Partners continue to be involved in Phase 2 of the project, which is currently under design development and is due to complete in 2015.