Tokiwabashi Building X

University Project
Tokiwabashi, Tokyo


Tokiwabashi Building X is an exercise in place-making. It itself apart from the surrounding International style office buildings by enveloping itself with high-definition video screens which display ephemeral, dynamic images generated by real-time data from hundreds of sensors embedded in the ground and building surfaces. As each individual moves through or near the project, anonymous data about them is tracked and fed into a machine-learning central processor. Coupled with media directly from sub-cultures from around Japan, the result is a massive, interactive display that is a result of every individual passing through it. The building is literally brought to life by the thousands of regular people experiencing it everyday.

Site and Form Generation

A | The leftover build-able area of the site is identified (orange).
B | Planned connections are made across the river into the plaza, between bldg A and B, and down into underground.
C | Primary form is extruded up echoing the design of neighbouring building.
D | Site is lifted up to create pathways at ground and second floor level.
E | Edges of form are folded upward to create entrances and respond to lifted site.
F | Site is folded like origami around elevated walkway and form to create encompassing structure.

The site

The Solution

The primary form of the project houses studio and cafe space within a simple square tower. Clad in transparent white polycarbonate panels offset from the envelope, the building attempts to be an understated counterpoint to the riot of video displays. Soft matte and opaque during the day, the panels glow at night with light from within. The video panels of the project are installed in an origami-inspired triangulated steel frame around the tower, as well as embedded within the landscaping itself. A new bridge is constructed across the Nihonbashi River with a central portion of glass and transparent video screens as a dangerous reminder of the power and importance of this historic river.