Amidst the raging global pandemic, people started debating whether going back to the old normal was even possible (or even desirable), or is there a shift in culture coming accelerated by the (temporary) new normal we all have found ourselves in. Students of history already know that past pandemics have changed the way we live forever. Whether it’s the sewage system, garbage collection system, or the creation of sanitary inspections and health and safety standards, you have a pandemic to thank. Similarly, Covid-19 has been a catalyst for teleworking, popularizing existing technologies and inspiring new ones. Architecture follows suit, with Mitsui Fudosan’s currently under construction skyscraper called Tokyo Midtown Yaesu taking notes from this pandemic.
The First Large-Scale Contactless Building in Greater Tokyo
Projected to be completed by 2022, The Tokyo Midtown Yaesu building design incorporates everything we have learned in 2020. The building complex will be as contactless as possible since the Covid-19 pandemic shed the spotlight on contaminated and repeatedly touched surfaces as one vector of infection. Facial recognition technology will enable smart doors and smart elevators, so every employee can get to the office without touching a single button. In addition to frequent ultraviolet light disinfection of surfaces, antibacterial high-performance filters will be installed in the office building and elevator air conditioners. Delivery robots connected to 5G technology will deliver everything from food to office supplies to workers. Finally, there will be information screens showing the current congestion in restaurants and shops, so you can decide to choose less crowded spaces.
Wellness and Sustainability in Action
These words have been thrown around a lot, often without much to show for it. However, the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu building complex puts some weight behind these trendy concepts. They are planning to have health check apps, promote exercise and hold sports events, but above all, they state they will commit to work-life balance, and allow diverse work styles.
Aiming for a carbon-free society, the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu building will be using green sustainable energy, such as solar energy. Furthermore, the building will have heat-shielding and highly insulated double glazed windows to reduce the heating and cooling load in summer and winter. The LED lighting throughout the building will also significantly reduce power consumption and CO2 compared to fluorescent lamps.
Located just outside Yaesu exit on Tokyo Station, this building also prides itself on its centrality and easy access. Major train and subway lines will have exits connected directly to the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu complex, and for a trip out of Tokyo, Tokyo station is the boarding place for Shinkansen bullet trains going all across Japan. The Yaesu exit naturally leads to the high-end Ginza and Nihonbashi areas, a coveted Tokyo location that is also undergoing a major update. Mitsui Fudosan is also involved in the Nihonbashi Revitalization Plan that aims to revamp the area that used to be the herald of modernity in Japan at the turn of the 20th century. This was where trends started in the previous centuries, from the first shopping centers like Mitsukoshi to Paris-style cafes and wearing Western clothes. And with these current futuristic urban developments, that same legacy is carried in the 21st century.