Nishi-Nippon Railroad Company administered an international design competition featuring top firms from the United States, Europe and Japan.
KPF’s design for Shin-Fukuoka incorporates three main concepts: the urban roof, urban grid, and urban oasis. The complex comprises retail, office, and hotel amenities at the prominent crossing of Meiji and Watanabe Avenues, a highly valued real estate location within this region.
Housing a complex program of varied uses, the structure required a dominant design element that would unify its parts. An L-shaped roof envelops the building, starting at its western edge and continuing down its eastern façade. As this “urban roof” articulates a response to its context, the “urban grid” concept lays the foundation for the design of Shin-Fukuoka’s individual programs. Hotel, office, and co-working tenants share a central lobby space, reflecting the region’s cultural ethos of openness. With this convergence, each program’s massing interlocks at the building’s surface, encased in a steel grid frame.
The building’s interlocking forms produce voids and projections that house multiple outdoor terraces, capitalizing on the area’s sub-tropical climate and its conduciveness to healthy growth of vegetation. Green space flows throughout the interior, starting with a vertical garden at the main intersection of Tenjin Crossing, with progressive green spaces at the retail, co-working, and hotel floors.
Ko Makabe, KPF Design Principal, reflects on the competition scheme’s realization: “Shin-Fukuoka will rise at a prominent corner of the city center: the intersection of its financial and retail districts. The building’s mixed-use program and polished design channel the city’s character on a regional and international scale. As architects, we’re excited by the challenge of crafting a new urban gesture for Fukuoka, contributing to its center of gravity and its larger position as Japan’s gateway to East Asia.”
Read the full press release here.