Foster + Partners Design Timber Department Store in Tokyo

Foster + Partners has revealed plans for a timber-framed department store near Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Crossing.

The practice claimed the nine-story store would adopt “the highest sustainability standards,” echoing the environmental philosophy of its client, Japanese fashion chain Marui.

According to practice, a proposed wooden structure will be supported by steel to improve seismic performance.

At the same time, the building will be powered by renewable energy, partly generated by on-site photovoltaic panels. The designs also feature landscaped bamboo walkways, green walls and a rooftop garden.

The existing Shibuya Marui store on the site will close on August 28 and then be demolished to make way for the replacement building.

Fosters described its new department store as “Japan’s first large-scale sustainable wooden commercial facility that uses wood for approximately 60% of its structure”.

David Summerfield, Senior Executive Partner, said: “We are delighted to be working on such a groundbreaking and sustainable project, which is just a stone’s throw from the famous Shibuya Crossing.

“A wooden 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,” according to the practice, which said its designs reflect those values ​​by maximizing daylighting and passive thermal comfort while using natural materials.

Inside, the proposed building’s open-plan retail units feature wood floors and exposed wood ceilings.

The west face of the store combines an expressed wooden structure with a wooden balustrade covering, according to Fosters’ plans. This has been designed to achieve an optimal glazing ratio on the façade, reducing solar gain.

The offset service core is located towards the east, further reducing overall heat gain, while the fluted glazing coating provides a lightweight feel, according to practice.