Foster + Partners taps timber for sustainably designed department store
Following high-profile projects like the Mjøstårnet and Sara Cultural Center, engineered timber continues to grow in popularity around the world as a sustainable building material. The latest notable work comes from Foster + Partners, which has revealed plans to build a nine-story department store in Japan mostly from timber.
The Shibuya Marui Department Store will be located in a prominent spot that's just a stone's throw away from Tokyo's famous Shibuya Crossing.
The project is inspired by traditional Japanese timber building techniques and will make use of modern engineered wood products like glued laminated timber and cross-laminated timber, though Foster + Partners doesn't actually specify which at this early stage. However, due to Japan's regular earthquakes, it will also require a little additional reinforcement from steel too, ensuring it can withstand any seismic activity. In addition, its exterior is designed to maximize daylight inside but mitigate solar heat gain.
The department store will be partly powered by on-site solar panels and be topped by a rooftop garden that will host a restaurant and a café and provide choice views of the crossing. Its interior decor, meanwhile, will take the same approach as most of the other timber projects we've reported on and will highlight the natural beauty of the wood, with open plan retail units and timber floors and exposed timber ceilings.
"The western face of the building, that looks onto Koen Dori Road, combines an expressed timber structure with a timber balustrade cladding," explained Foster + Partners. "This achieves an optimal ratio of glazing on the facade, thereby achieving a significant reduction in solar gain. The offset service core is located towards the east, further reducing overall heat gain, while the fluted glazing cladding provides a sense of lightness."
We've no word yet on when the Shibuya Marui Department Store is expected to be completed.
Source: Foster + Partners