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Zaha Hadid Architects

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Azabu-Jyuban Building

  • Tokyo, Japan
  • 1986 – 1986
  • K-One Corporation
  • Competition / Research

A vision to liberate space in Tokyo, a city of ‘blade runner’ intensity – a building which slices into landscape, pierces earth, exaggerates the pressure generated by its narrow confines, incorporating ‘light jewelled’ metal and concrete outer walls, behind which glass curtains rise upwards and outwards.

Utilizing experience gained on the Ku’Damm project of 1986, we proposed a unique means to liberate space in Tokyo – a city of almost Blade Runner intensity, marked by great congestion.

Slicing into the landscape, piercing the earth, our Azabu-Jyuban Building intentionally exaggerates the pressures generated by its narrow confines – a narrow canyon of random structures close to the Roppongi District.

This pristine glass structure compresses itself between a tall metal all and reinforced concrete wall, both punctured by ‘jewel-like’ windows, beyond which two curtain walls, one blue one white, rise upwards and outwards.

Within, released space is immediately apparent on entry to a three-story reception area, from which a vertical stairway runs uninterrupted before ‘exploding’ onto rooftop balconies.




Zaha Hadid

Design Team

Zaha Hadid with Michael Wolfson, Brenda Mackneson, Satoshi Ohashi, Alistair Standing, Signy svalastoga, Paul Brislin, Nicola Cousins, David Gommersall, Edgar Gonzalez, Erik Hemmingway, Simon Loukian, Paivi Jaaskelainen


Daniel Chadwick, Tim Price


Hisashi Koyayashi & Associates


Ove Arup and Partners