Snøhetta designs its largest project in Japan to date with the new Shibuya Upper West Project for Tokyu Corporation, L Catterton Real Estate, and Tokyu Department Store. The 117,000 m2 mixed-use development includes the Bunkamura cultural complex and will offer high-quality retail, a contemporary luxury hotel, and rental residences, as well as art and cultural experiences in the vibrant Shibuya district of Tokyo. The project aims to achieve the highest possible sustainability ratings and is expected to complete in the fiscal year 2027.
The city of Tokyo lies in a duality of nowness and time-honored tradition. A city of turns and juxtapositions, contrasting qualities that harmonize with one another. The new Shibuya Upper West Project intends to represent all this while imagining a new vision for the famous and lively area of Shibuya in Tokyo, known for its bustling crowds, big screens, and the Shibuya Crossing in front of the Shibuya Station Hachikō.
With its prominent location, where Tokyu Department Store’s flagship store currently resides, the project sits at the intersection of the serene high-end residential area of Shoto, the cultural neighborhoods of Kamiyamacho and Tomigaya, and the vibrant Shibuya district. Nestled at the edge of Shibuya where energy meets calm, the project aspires to become Tokyo's newest “Urban Retreat" – a sanctuary of peace and relaxation in the bustle of the city. Key features include The Hive, a vibrant and lively atrium anchoring the heart of the project, and The Sanctuary, a healing space with lush roof terraces for visitors to relax and unwind.
IImage by Mir, Copyright: Snøhetta, Courtesy of: Tokyu Corporation
The Shibuya Upper West Project is set to become a new landmark in Tokyo. Horizontally connecting out to the city and the surrounding areas while stretching vertically to the sky. The building is designed as a landform, rising from ground level with its terraced steps, paying tribute to the distant foothills of Mount Fuji. The building honors an ancient Japanese building practice through its ceramic façade, strengthening the connection between tradition and the future.
“In such a well-known and historically significant area in one of the world’s most exciting cities, the project is paying homage to and respecting traditions as well as looking ahead. We aim to design for the future and aspire to find the most sustainable solutions, contributing to Japan’s goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050,” says Robert Greenwood, Partner and Managing Director of Snøhetta Hong Kong.
“We have imagined a new 24-hour vision for Shibuya with this hybrid urban development that combines Landmark and Landform – a bridge between the city and the streets that extends itself into the skyline – connecting Shibuya to Shoto. The design is formed as a single gesture, moving from the horizontal ground plane to the vertical skyline, symbolizing the energy of the area in a single stroke. It is an homage to the duality of Tokyo – a modern city steeped in tradition,” Greenwood explains. For the Shibuya Upper West Project, Snøhetta plans to achieve the highest possible sustainability ratings.
Image by: Snøhetta
The development will bring together a vibrant combination of high-quality retail, a contemporary luxury hotel, and rental residences as well as art and culture in the Shibuya district for the very first time. The Shibuya Upper West Project will be a collaboration with the iconic Bunkamura cultural complex, adjacent to the project and known for its long-standing efforts to promote art and culture throughout Tokyo.
“Snøhetta’s heritage rooted in Norway, one of the most sustainable countries in the world, places social and environmental sustainability at the heart of every project”, says Kazuo Takahashi, President and Representative Director of Tokyu Corporation.
“In Snøhetta, we partner with a design architect that creates striking architecture and we are thrilled to see their building debut in Japan become an important flagship to Shibuya.”, says Mathieu le Bozec, Managing Partner of L Catterton Real Estate.
Shibuya Upper West Project is due for completion in the fiscal year 2027 and will be a collaboration between Snøhetta as Design Architect and a joint venture between Nikken Sekkei Ltd and Tokyu Architects & Engineers INC acting as Executive Architect.
Snøhetta’s other projects in Tokyo include the Pangea Digital Garage co-working space and the Tokyo Burnside restaurant.
Image by Proloog, Copyright: Snohetta, Courtesy of: Tokyu Corporation
Project name: Shibuya Upper West Project
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Size: 117,000 m2 (includes Bunkamura)
Client: Tokyu Corporation, L Catterton Real Estate, Tokyu Department Store
Design Architect: Snøhetta
Executive Architect: Design JV between Nikken Sekkei Ltd and Tokyu Architects & Engineers INC
Typology: Retail, Hotel, Residential
Expected completion: FY 2027
Image by Mir, Copyright: Snohetta, Courtesy of: Tokyu Corporation