30th May 2022

Designs for sustainable department store in Tokyo revealed

Designs for the Shibuya Marui Department Store, a nine-storey retail development in Tokyo, which is set to become a new showcase for sustainable lifestyle brands, have been revealed. The building adopts the highest standards of sustainability, embodying the core principles of environmental responsibility and wellbeing. 

David Summerfield, Senior Executive Partner, Foster + Partners, said: “We are delighted to be working on such a ground-breaking and sustainable project, which is a stone’s throw away from the world-famous Shibuya Crossing. A timber structure will significantly reduce the embodied carbon of the building, while simultaneously creating a warm and open experience for visitors.’’  

Marui seeks to influence and attract customers who align with their sustainable values, creating a close-knit community of like-minded brands and people. The design of their new store aligns with this vision by maximising daylight and passive thermal comfort, while using natural materials.

Inspired by traditional Japanese building techniques, the new department store also features a timber structure that dramatically lowers the building’s embodied carbon and offers a distinctive presence on one of the city’s arterial routes.  Internally, the building features open plan retail units with timber floors and exposed timber ceilings throughout. An additional steel structure enhances the building’s seismic performance.

The western face of the building, that looks onto Koen Dori Road, combines an expressed timber structure with a timber balustrade cladding. This achieves an optimal ratio of glazing on the façade, thereby achieving a significant reduction in solar gain. The offset service core is located towards the east, further reducing overall heat gain, while the fluted glazing cladding provides a sense of lightness.

There are visual connections between the recently opened Miyashita Park to the east, with panoramic views of the surrounding areas from the generously planted roof garden. Complemented by a café and restaurant, the roof garden has the potential to include an urban food farm in the future.

At ground level the north and south entrances lead, via landscaped bamboo walkways and green walls, to the vertical circulation zone in the east. From here, visitors can enter the department store.

The building will be powered by renewable energy, part of which will be generated from on-site photovoltaic panels, which will contribute to reduce operational and embodied carbon.