Linking up the loop

Nick Myall
Tuesday 04 Apr 2017

The new Grandberry Center in Tokyo replaces a mall and train station creating a modern, landscaped shopping village

Laguarda.Low Architects, has unveiled the design for Grandberry Center, a new 750,000 sq ft transit-oriented development in Machida, Tokyo. Set on the city’s Tokyu Denen-tonshi train line, Laguarda.Low designed Grandberry Center to be the centre of commerce and activity for Machida – a city in the west section of the Tokyo Metropolis.

The new Grandberry Center development replaces an existing mall and train station and creates a modern, landscaped shopping village with a direct connection to the newly-designed Tsuruma Park. The new train depot, with its undulating roof, tiered gardens, and waterfall create a dramatic sense of arrival. From the platform, a grand stair leads visitors to the multi-level shopping centre experience, inclusive of a local food market, retail stores and a cinema. The retail village is organized as a simple loop, referencing a European town typology, with parking positioned in the centre. Throughout the loop, visitors traverse a series of open and covered plazas that provide dynamic spaces for socializing, leisure and entertainment.

The buildings are composed of a mix of stone, steel, wood, glass and green walls. The form, scale, and materiality of the buildings were designed to create variation within the development and to blend with the surrounding residential neighbourhood.

“Grandberry Center provides a warm and modern ambience with sophisticated design that enlivens the surrounding neighbourhood for local residents and visitors,” said Pablo Laguarda, Principal of Laguarda.Low. “Its location as an entertainment and lifestyle destination is unique and we look forward to showcasing this development to the Machida community.” 

Situated amidst Tsuruma Park, Laguarda.Low’s design removes an existing street to unify Grandberry Center with nature.  To combine the two parcels, a new park entrance transforms the natural slope in grade into a dramatic stair, with the ground rising to create a green roof for a new restaurant at the threshold of the park. The firm also designed the main promenade, which features lush Cherry Blossom trees, and a designed new landscape plan with designated spaces for a skate park, urban farm, sculpture garden, children’s playground, expansive lawn and library.

Construction of Grandberry Center will begin in May 2017, with an estimated completion of September 2019. Grandberry Center is expected to officially open in November 2019. Granberry is one of seven Laguarda.Low-designed developments in Japan. Most recently, the firm was the silver award winner of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) New Development category for their design of AEON Mall Okinawa Rycom, the largest multi-story commercial facility in Western Japan. 

Nick Myall

News editor

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