PTW Architects won a design competition for this small commercial block in Tokyo in 2006. ‘Luminous’ has two lower storeys of retail space and seven storeys of office space, and is surrounded on three sides by neighbouring small to medium buildings. Within the height controls and setback regulations ‘Luminous’ is a building which glows and glistens like a finely cut jewel, crowned with a penthouse rising above the 31m height limit and situated within the set-back line. As most of the surrounding buildings are 31m high, the penthouse enjoys open views from the timber deck terrace to the Tokyo Station area and further up to the Shinjuku district. The façade has a beautiful and deeply curved glass wall, which maximizes the street frontage for tenants and continually reflects changes in the surrounding environment. Balconies on each floor allow cross-ventilation and the terrace around the penthouse provides a refreshing open space. A centrally positioned glass lift-well unifies the curve of the penthouse with the lower levels, creating a symbolic and dramatic form. In a busy area which otherwise lacks strong architectural characteristics, this building provides a new landmark and a novel way to activate a typical commercial area. The plan provides 95% efficiency of net area on typical levels with the innovative design approach providing an environmentally friendly design for its tenants. By having this efficient floor plan, Luminous is giving not only maximum net area but also less construction cost compared to a typical office building in Tokyo. The price of rent of lettable area was set at more than 30% higher than the neighbouring buildings, even so all the floors of this building were occupied by tenants shortly after its completion.


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