Mori Building Co., Ltd.

Concept of the Development

Mount Atago in Minato Ward, incubator of history and culture. Offices, life services, restaurants, and cafes are organically located on the site. In addition, it is an environment in which Seishoji Temple, the NHK Museum of Broadcasting, and other cultural buildings. exist together in a good balance with the deep forest. It is a hybrid city that is a concrete example of the requirements of office towers in the future, namely “coexistence of cities and nature, coexistence of history and the future.”
Atago Green Hills is a city space exemplifying the Mori Building philosophy of locating work and living spaces in close proximity to each other, and set on the stage of this mori (forest) which in the past has always been protected by the temples.
The Forest Tower (the residential tower) and the Mori Tower (the office tower) create a vivid silhouette high in the sky.The temple buildings located between the two towers have a dignified air. This city complex combines the aesthetic sense of the old with that of the new to create a new landscape for Tokyo.
Here the office and residence towers blend beautifully with the natural beauty, tradition and culture of their Mt. Atago site. Visually they function as the gate to Seishoji, the Buddhist temple centered between them. Designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, their exteriors evoke the shapes of lotus blossoms.

Bird's-eye view of Atago Green Hills
Bird's-eye view of Atago Green Hills
Two towers and Seishoji Temple
Two towers and Seishoji Temple

In 2003 Atago Green Hills became the first project in Japan to be honored in the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Awards for Excellence, which are the most prestigious awards internationally in the real estate industry.

  • Reasons for winning the ULI Award for Excellence
  • The design creates a large amount of open space by integrating the site and making the buildings more concentrated and super-high rise, resulting in a “vertical garden city” which is outstanding from an environmental perspective.
  • Combines traditional temples and state-of-the-art super-high rise buildings to make a city asset with an outstanding design.
  • Promotes city greening by preserving the existing trees on Mount Atago, which had been designated as a city planning park by the metropolitan government, and greening the surrounding open spaces and 50% of the unoccupied land.
  • Offers a safe and comfortable environment for city living, including the latest earthquake resistance technology, a 24-hour bilingual concierge service, a spa for residents, and a clinic operated in conjunction with Jikei University Hospital.
  • Both the offices and the residences are managed in a stable way that maintains high occupancy rates and rents at the highest level in Tokyo.

History of the Development

Atago Green Hills was completed in 2001 and inherited the development philosophy of ARK Hills. It is a mixed-use development which creates open spaces by making buildings high rise and achieves “work and living spaces in close proximity” inside the city. This project was designed as a step toward building Roppongi Hills.
Mount Atago, the site for the Atago Green Hills development, is blessed with cherry trees and a lot of other greenery, and has been loved since the Edo Period as a famous lookout spot. At the top of the mountain there is the NHK Museum of Broadcasting, the home of broadcasting in Japan, and the Atago Shrine. There are also three temples: the venerable Seishoji Temple with a history of more than 500 years, the Seigan-in Temple, and the Densou-in Temple. As a culturally and historically valuable place within the city, it has the potential to contribute to the formation of an appealing area in the heart of Tokyo.

Before construction of Atago Green Hills
Before construction of Atago Green Hills
Before construction of Atago Green Hills
Before construction of Atago Green Hills

This project had its genesis about 19 years ago when Seishoji Temple approached Mori Building with its concerns that the rebuilding taking place in the vicinity of temple would conceal the venerable temple and Mount Atago. As a result the land of approximately 70 rights holders was integrated and a joint project was undertaken involving Mori Building and Seishoji Temple, Densou-in Temple, Seigan-in Temple, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), Kobunsha, and three other parties. In 1998 the city plan was decided, the Atago Area Redevelopment Plan. The basic concepts of the development were “to preserve the existing topography and greenery of Mount Atago, utilize it as a valuable scenic resource of the center of Tokyo, ensure the population of permanent residents makes a recovery, make the development safe with respect to disasters, and build a comfortable town in which to live.” So the challenge was to combine the development with the historical landscape of Mount Atago and the temples.
The development site is divided into four areas. Area A has been rearranged to focus mainly on commercial functions and includes the Atago Mori Tower, the Plaza, the Seigan-in Temple, and Kobunsha. Area B was rearranged to focus mainly on residential functions and includes the Atago Forest Tower, the Densou-in Temple, and the Mount Atago Elevator. Area C is the rebuilt Seishoji Temple and Area D is the existing NHK Museum of Broadcasting. For the design of the layout of the buildings we placed the Atago Mori Tower and the Atago Forest Tower far apart, ensured that approximately half of the site would be open space, and restored the greenery of Mount Atago. These two towers designed by Caesar Pelli eliminate the sense of crowding in the landscape and have become landmarks that symbolize Mount Atago.

  • Development Time Line
  • 1996:Minato Ward conducts a study into establishment of a basic policy for developing the area around Mount Atago
  • 1998:City plan is decided
  • 1999:Construction begins
  • 2001:Construction is completed