Shinjuku Sumitomo Building

Nikken Sekkei Ltd as Basic design, construction drawings, and supervision

The Shinjuku Sumitomo Building was built in 1974 in Tokyo’s Nishi Shinjuku district.The site’s expansive “SankakuHiroba” (triangularplaza) atrium roof, along with associated renovations, offer asustainable model for addressing an emerging problem for Japan’s cities: how to carry out renovation projectson large-scale buildings using good maintenance practices.The project also represents a greater societal effort to enliven theurban business district and enhance its value as an accessible gathering place.

photo_credit SS
SS

Creating a Lively Public Space in the Business District

The building’s construction was a venture into the unknown, so to speak, made possiblethrough innovation and new technologies for tacklingnumerous challenges.By the early 2000s, nearly 30 years since its completion, the Nishi Shinjuku area had matured as a business district and faced the challenge of how to invigorate an increasingly diverse city.

photo_credit SS
SS

To that end, Shinjuku’s public and private sectors joined hands in a reorganizing effort that is finally bearing fruit. Among them is the public space built in the privately owned area of the building’s outdoor plaza, covered with a massive glass roof. Hopes are high that this indoor space will spark a transformation of metropolitan Shinjuku into a more lively and appealing city. The project is more than a mere makeover; it shows the great potential of such high-rise renovations that aim for urban functionality and value enhancement to meet the demands of a new era.

photo_credit SS
SS

Renovating a High-Rise Still in Use

This project was undertaken while the building remainedin use. Construction of the glass roof was performedconcurrently with major repair work.The huge steel-structured roof (L:140m, W:90m, H:25m) covers a central space devoid of columns. Expansion jointswere used above ground so the roof could be structurally independent.

photo_credit SS
SS

Roof-supportingcolumns were strategically concentrated along the site’s perimeter and the existing periphery in order to minimize the effects on facility renewal and other activities. Concurrent with construction of the roof,seismic retrofitting was performed on the entire building to better counter earthquake-related effects and vibration. Using the building’s existing equipment balconies, second floor inertial rotarydamping tubes were installed to connect up to the 49th floor in order to absorb the building’s kinetic energy. All of the tasks were performed without disturbing the building’s exterior or office workspaces.

photo_credit SS
SS

Inheriting the Landscape & Redesigning the Legacy

The Shinjuku Sumitomo Building has long been affectionatelycalled the“Sankaku (triangle) Building,” both for its distinctive outwardappearance and for its striking interior andexterior detail. For this project, new spaces that respect the legacy landscape were redesigned.

photo_credit Harunori Noda (Gankohsha)
Harunori Noda (Gankohsha)

For example, red granite formerly used in the exterior (now no longer mined) was reused in the walls of the vehicle entrance.Bricks from the former outer wall design (inspired by the Yodobashi PurificationPlant’s brick motif) were“recreated” using laminated bricks that integrateair conditioning, sound deadening, and wall greenery functions.

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
25 best architecture firms in Madrid
27 Jun 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Madrid

Madrid is a center of gravity for European architecture. Spain’s capital city is host to an am... More

Lviv’s Radio Garage offers an experimental space for temporary exhibitions with a focus on radio, sound art, VR-art, and interactive media
25 Jun 2022 News
Lviv’s Radio Garage offers an experimental space for temporary exhibitions with a focus on radio, sound art, VR-art, and interactive media

In Lviv, Radio Garage is a media art centre and an experimental gallery for temporary exhibitions wi... More

Urban infill project Manifesto Market Andel activates an underutilized gap in Prague’s urban fabric
25 Jun 2022 News
Urban infill project Manifesto Market Andel activates an underutilized gap in Prague’s urban fabric

Located in Prague’s Andel District, Manifesto Market Andel is an urban infill project activati... More

Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm
24 Jun 2022 News
Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm

An iconic 19th-century building next to Amsterdam Central Station, Droogbak has been transformed int... More

Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials
24 Jun 2022 News
Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials

House VD-B by Graux & Baeyens architecten is a renovated hacienda-style villa in Evergem, Belgiu... More

Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)
22 Jun 2022 News
Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)

In the heart of the historic city of Bruges, The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC) is a... More

Award-winning New Museum of Ethnography by NAPUR Architect opens in Budapest
22 Jun 2022 News
Award-winning New Museum of Ethnography by NAPUR Architect opens in Budapest

Designed by NAPUR Architect, the recently opened New Museum of Ethnography in Budapest is a purpose-... More

New Royal College of Art campus by Herzog & de Meuron unveiled in Battersea
22 Jun 2022 News
New Royal College of Art campus by Herzog & de Meuron unveiled in Battersea

The Royal College of Art unveiled its new campus in Battersea, London this past month.  With a... More