In order to realize a high level of functionality, we combined 5.6ha into one urban zone and developed the twisting, narrow road that had existed before development (with a total area of 2,000m2) into two encircling roads with a width of 12m and 8m (and a total area of 7,000m2). We got rid of all of the former ward roads within the area and established the new encircling roads as the ward roads. The avenues of cherry trees on each side of the encircling roads have grown up and become famous. Every year when the cherry trees are in full bloom, many people come to enjoy them.
We have placed super-high-rise, spacious offices and hotels alongside the 40m wide Takanawa-Azabu expressway and positioned three residential buildings with six floors, twenty-one floors, and twenty-five floors on the south side of a hill where they get good sunlight. Between the residential buildings and the office building, we have created a plaza and there is a television studio facing the plaza and below it. On the north side of the residential building, there is a low-rise concert hall facing the plaza, as we take account of an environment for the existing residences adjacent to the north side of the complex. Our approach is the so-called “movement of capacity rights” through the “method of comprehensive design for apartment complex,” which increases the capacity of the commercial zone alongside the trunk road (the offices and the hotel) and keeps down the capacity of the cultural and residential zone on the south side.
The land on which the complex is situated is hilly and there is a difference of 20m in altitude within it, but we took advantage of that difference to build a plaza on the terraced fields. This three-dimensional plaza and the pedestrian walkways we created using pedestrian decks enabled us to make as spacious as 55% of the site into public space.
For comprehensive developments it is important to achieve a balance between consistency with the overall city district and the individuality of each building. We designed the complex so as to maintain the framework of the city and the identity of the town of ARK Hills and at the same time express the individuality of each building that arises from its functions.
With the changing times the needs, lives, and economic activities of people also change. Thus a transformation in cities is also needed. It is important to perceptively understand this need and act to renew cities so that they can continue to shine. It is difficult to change the framework of buildings, the hardware constituting cities, but it is not difficult to change the software with a view to diversifying the functions of cities. We have renewed ARK Hills many times since its completion.
In 1996 we responded to the diversified needs of office workers by establishing a conference facility, Academy Hills, fully equipped with the latest equipment, and then we transferred it to Roppongi Hills. We launched the ARK GARDENING CLUB , which also accepts residents from the surrounding area as members. In 1998 we carried out a large-scale renovation of the restaurants, including the joint-use facilities, to meet the needs of the changing food culture. We renovated ARK HILLS SPA to develop the living environment. We enhanced the gardens, etc. based on the concept of making greening, formerly a uniform approach, richer and more available to people. Aiming to improving the working environment of office workers, we also carried out across-the-board renovations including the creation of a floor containing office equipment, renewal of the design of the joint-use areas, strengthening of security, etc.
ARK Hills has played a guiding role in urban renewal and has become more mature over time. It will continue to evolve now more than ever, without ever stopping.