Japan Post / Tokyo, Japan/ 2012
Size: 206,000 sq ft / 2,217,370 sq m
Height: 38 floors; 656 ft / 200 m
Status: Completed 2012
Recognition: JIA Architect of the Year, 180 Selected Works; AIJ Architectural Design Encouragement Prize; AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award
Prominently located on a plaza adjacent to Japan’s busiest train station, Japan Post fuses historic architecture with technical façade design to create a state-of-the-art building for Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward.
At its base, the building honors the architecture of the surrounding cityscape, preserving the original five-story façade of the 1931 Tokyo Central Post Office. Restored in exquisite detail, the original façade becomes a podium for the new tower, which rises thirty-eight floors above Marunouchi Ekimae Square. The glass folds of the tower add a sculptural veil to the structure, leveraging natural light and unobstructed views for its occupants. The gentle inward slope cradles the urban plaza below.
The building serves as the headquarters of Japan Post, Japan’s national postal service. The tower is anchored by the KITTE retail galleria, a multi-floor shopping and restaurant complex with a publicly accessible rooftop garden.
Sustainability and building performance were addressed through the form and technical façade of the building. External louvers filter direct sunlight on the east and west façades while allowing ambient natural light to fill the space. The vented, twin-shell façade opens the interior to natural air. Combined, these technologies reduce overall CO2 emissions by about 40%.
The technical expression of the building is reinforced in the lobby facade and ceiling but softened through the use of a horizontal wood grille.