A new tree-shaped structure creating a three-dimensional garden on its façade appeared in the midst of Omotesando area in Tokyo. This new building designed by the Tokyo based firm Sou Fujimoto Architects for Tokyo Ooya Net is a 4 storey multipurpose space including a retail store, office area and a residence. Built on a small site measuring only 162 square meters, “Omotesando Branches” is a tiny yet significant example of contemporary Japanese architecture.
The key element of Fujimoto’s “Omotesando Branches” is its makeup, developed in collaboration with ARUP engineers, that embodies not only a load bearing structure but also a strong visual concept. More in detail, this building is built in reinforced concrete and covered with a clear, water-repellent material. Then, similar to a tree that extends its branches, this building further extends its structure, turning into hollow pots with vegetation planted in it. 16 vessels in total, each measuring about 50 x 50 cm, provide enough volume to plant Japanese maple, European privet, griffith’s ash and sapphire berry.
“Omotesando Branches” is like the Japanese micro-version of a vertical forests in densely built urban contexts. The project team includes Sou Fujimoto, Naganobu Matsumura, Shintaro Honma, Keisuke Kiri, Naoki Tamura, Jane Luk, Hugh Hsu, Yichen Hsieh.
Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat