Q：Tell us about the concept behind Shinagawa Season Terrace.
A：Shinagawa Season Terrace was designed to make better use of the vertical space above Shibaura Water Reclamation Center after its reconstruction. It is a collaboration between four private companies and the city of Tokyo, and is the first public-private project in Japan to utilize vertical urban design methodology.
The office building was designed to have both advanced environmental performance and to offer safety and security through a base isolation anti-seismic system. In addition, the park was designed to maintain wind paths and to stay connected to the ecosystem, in a new form of urban design based in the environmental model city concept implemented at the heart of the city. With a new station being built on the Yamanote Line and with the area envisioned as the future starting station for the maglev train, Shinagawa is expected to see even greater growth in the coming years, and we aim to have Shinagawa Season Terrace standing at the forefront of that development.
Q：Can you give us more detail about the building’s environmental performance?
A：What makes the building most distinctive is the “Sky Void,” which brings in light and air. The central core of the building was left open to allow fresh air and natural sunlight to flow into the building. In addition, high-performance low-E glazing reduces the thermal load, motion sensors are used to operate LED lighting, and solar panels are installed on the roof. The various techniques and environmentally-friendly technology helped us to create an office building that is capable of high energy savings.
Q：You have also put a lot of effort into how water is used.
A：We are taking advantage of our location by using reclaimed water to flush toilets and for irrigation in the park, but we also use treated water as heat source water in the air conditioning system, which is one way for us to contribute to mitigating the heat island effect in the city.
Q：What about the safety measures you have taken?
A：We use a base isolation system. The building has a total floor area of 200,000㎡ on 32 floors, and it was very difficult to install a base isolation system in such a large office building. It was an extremely laborious process, but by installing the base isolation layer in the appropriate location, we were able to ensure that the building would be very safe – even allowing it to respond to long-period ground motion. Also, with our power generators capable of providing electricity for up to 72 hours, our emergency heliport, and the way we utilize water, we have created a framework that will support tenant corporations when they implement their own Business Continuity Plans during times of emergency.
Q：I suppose this really reassures the people who work here.
A：Safety and security are of course important, but we also put a great amount of effort into creating an office space that is comfortable to work in. Each floor is on the order of 5000㎡ in area, the largest in Japan, and ceilings are 2.9 meters high. Also, the Sky Void I mentioned before brings bright light into office hallways and entrance areas, and helps to produce spaces that offer a high level of sophistication. Office buildings can often become closed, confined spaces, but by bringing in the outside light we are able to give people a closer connection to nature and the changing time and seasons, which psychologically gives them a greater sense of openness.
Additionally, each floor is a single large space. This allows for greater freedom in planning layouts, and offers our corporate tenants a range of flexibility that can answer any needs they may have.
Q：Tell us about the commercial zone on the 1st to 3rd floors.
A：It is the largest dining zone in the Shinagawa port area, and has approximately 20 retail shops, services, cleaners and other establishments, including some in entirely new categories and some that are opening their first locations in Tokyo. The commercial zone is connected to the large green space, thereby providing a link for people who work in this building and neighboring buildings to take a break, and providing this business hub with a more relaxed feel. Our other goal was to create a more open community that is connected to the surrounding neighborhood.
People who work in the building will naturally enjoy having a meal at the restaurants looking over the park, but local residents will also have a wonderful time here. When the weather is good, people can even eat in the park itself.
Q：So this large green space is just another part of the appeal of Shinagawa Season Terrace.
A：The park is 3.5 hectares in area, which is very rare for a development in the heart of the city. It’s a wonderful place for people to come together, and offers a pleasant, almost therapeutic space for office employees, local residents, and visitors to the area to enjoy. We also kept birds and other wildlife in mind when designing the park, so we didn’t simply plant a few trees; we spent a great amount of time considering it from an ecological perspective. We ensured greater diversity by including the grass lawn space, the promenade, water spaces, and other areas, and planted local varieties of sakura and deciduous trees to provide people with a space where they could enjoy the passing of the seasons.
Q：Is that where the idea for the “Shinagawa Season Terrace” name came from?
A：We wanted a name that expressed the location well, with the environmentally-conscious nature of the building and the large park that serves as its terrace, and allowing people to experience the seasons as they change.