The 640,300 sf mixed-use office complex has reached completion, becoming OMA’s first ground-up office building in Japan. It's also the first built development of the Tenjin Big Bang initiative.
Fukuoka is the seventh biggest city in Japan. In 1991, OMA was invited as one of six architects to design a housing block (Nexus World Housing) for Arata Isozaki’s masterplan for a “new urban lifestyle” in Fukuoka. 30 years later, Tenjin Business Center signals a newfound ambition for urban renewal and growth.
The site is located at the intersection of two major axes: Meiji-dori—the city’s established avenue of commerce lined with financial offices—and Inabacho-dori—an organic pedestrian corridor linked to the city Hall Plaza and Galleria, lined with intimate cafes. Below ground, the site connects to a subway station and shopping concourse.
Office buildings are often quite sober and withdrawn from public life. The introverted typology internalizes its atriums and lobbies, shrouding its best assets. Our approach was to excavate the façade on the corner of Meiji-dori and Inabacho-dori to articulate the convergence of two different urban activities. This gesture enhances two conditions simultaneously—they reveal the internal activity of the office and draw in public activity at the new entry plaza.
“The building program is predominantly workspace, within a given massing that is neither low-rise nor tower, so the design was conceived through hyper-focused interventions that subtly merge and connect human and urban scale, two streets of different character, inside and outside, city and nature. The result is an efficient office block with the most memorable corner—an excavation of the building toward more openness.
A Big Bang signifies a starting point, and I hope this gesture will be an invitation for future developments to participate in creating a network of activated intersections and public zones that knit the new district together,” says Shohei Shigematsu.
Within the carved out corner is a six-story atrium that reinforces the inside/outside visual connection and draws natural light down to the lower-level concourse linked to the area’s underground pedestrian, retail, and transit network. The excavation is calibrated as three-dimensional pixels that break down the building to a human scale. The pixelated façade forms a series of soffit surfaces above, activated with signage and lighting that reinforce a sense of place at the convergence point.
Setbacks at the opposing upper level provide dynamic office interiors. In respect to the nature in the city, we symbolically introduce panoramic views to the often-overlooked Naka River and Hakata Bay. Together, the two pixelated edges round out the building to create a sense of softness like that of a melting ice cube. The eroded corners soften the edge between public domain and private office, generating an openness for the activity along Fukuoka’s main civic and commercial thoroughfares.
TENJIN BUSINESS CENTER
Client: Fukuoka Jisho Co., Ltd.
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Status: Oct 2021 Completion
Jan 2019 Groundbreaking
Aug 2018 Construction Documents
Oct 2016 Design Development
Jan 2016 Schematic Design
Apr 2015 Competition
Office 494,600 ft2 45,950 m2
Financial Services 98,100 ft2 9,110 m2
Retail 21,300 ft2 1,980 m2
Parking 26,300 ft2 2,440 m2
Total Area 640,300 ft2 59,480 m2
OMA New York
Partner-in-Charge: Shohei Shigematsu
Associate: Luke Willis Project Architect: Takeshi Mitsuda
Team: Toru Okada, Mitchell Lorberau, Ted Lin, Sumit Sahdev, Daniel Rauchwerger, Alyssa Murasaki Saltzgaber, Joanne Chen, Timothy Tse
Associate: Jake Forster
Team: Alyssa Murasaki Saltzgaber, Yusef Ali Dennis, Caroline Corbett, Mitchell Lorberau, Miguel Darcy, Jackie Woon Bae, Carly Dean
Executive Architect (CD – CA): Maeda Corporation
Executive Architect (SD – DD): Nihon Sekkei
Structure: Nihon Sekkei, Maeda Corporation
MEP/FP: Nihon Sekkei, Maeda Corporation
Façade Engineers: Maeda Corporation, Arup Japan
Interior Design: Curiosity Inc.
Exterior Lighting: Lighting Planners Associates
General Contractor: Maeda Corporation