We spotted buzzing bees, flora of all kinds and crystal clear waterfalls as we walked up ACROS’s stepped facade. When it was first built there were 76 varieties of plants, including 23 different kinds of trees ranging from plum to maple. According to the informational sign (translated by my mom), even more species came to thrive on the green roof as they were introduced by visiting birds, and now there are 120 varieties and 50,000 plants. We saw quite a few ginormous (by U.S. standards) black crows hanging out on tree branches and splashing about in the waterfalls and ponds.
Underneath its vertical forest, ACROS features nearly one million square feet filled with office space, an exhibition hall, a museum, a theater, conference facilities, a parking lot, and shops. The glass-clad main atrium lets in tons of natural light. Visitors who make it to the top of ACROS will notice that the grey spear that juts out of its facade is actually a stadium-style seating area that provides a lovely view of the greenery that makes this building the only one of its kind in the world.
Photos by Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat