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This tower project for the Fukoku insurance company takes inspiration from the profile of a gigantic tree whose roots proliferate on the surface of the ground. Splayed at its base, the tower’s outline tapers elegantly as it rises, gracing the city’s skyline with a vertical asymptote.
The contrast between the structure’s base and upper regions is accentuated by the treatment of the building’s “bark”. Broad “wood chips” on the lower levels gradually give way to a sleek wall. The glass facade is worked into a crescendo of encrusted mirrors at the base, reflecting the colors of the sky and the surrounding environment.
Situated at the exit of Osaka’s main train station, the building will become a lasting landmark in the urban landscape.
Dominique Perrault inaugurated a major tower project in Osaka on October 25. At the same time a solo exhibition of his architecture is organized at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
The Fukoku Tower, a 737,000 square feet building, is located at a strategic point in Osaka, above and connected to a major crossroad bringing together subterranean galleries. Perrault’s Tower takes the shape of a gigantic tree whose roots are encrusted in these galleries. The Tower rises elegantly from the crossroad below ground, taking its energy from the dynamic activities provided by the galleries.
Splayed at its base, the tower’s outline tapers elegantly as it rises, gracing the city’s skyline with a vertical asymptote. The contrast between the structure’s base and upper levels is accentuated by the treatment of the building’s “bark”. Broad “wood chips” on the lower levels gradually give way to a sleek and uninterrupted wall. The glass façade is worked into a crescendo of encrusted mirrors at the base, reflecting the colors of the sky and the surrounding environment.
The vast atrium, the Fukoku Forest of Life, features a wide glass wall, measuring 62 x 112 feet. This wall, which incorporates images of a forest landscape, creates the impression of a green environment on the doorstep of Osaka’s main train station and is visible from the street.
Perrault plays with the contrast provided by the natural lighting that pours from the ground level into the crossroad below and the strong artificial lighting of the galleries to create an element of surprise for passersby.
Fukoku Tower will house offices, shops, university premises and an underground parking. The building demonstrates clearly Perrault’s desire to connect each of his projects with the situation of
its site, incorporating each scheme into an ongoing geographical context.
Location: Osaka, Japan
Type: Offices – Commercial
Client: Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Company, Osaka, Japan
Architect: Dominique Perrault Architecture, Paris, France – www.perraultarchitecte.com
Associated architect: Shimizu Corporation Architects & Engineers
Engineering: Shimizu Corporation Architects & Engineers
Consultant: Mitsubishi Estate Group
Site area: 3 900 m²
Built area: 68 500 m² (including car park)
Maximum height 133 m – 32 floors : 28 floors on surface, 4 basement levels
Beginning of conceptual design: 2007
Beginning of construction: June 2008
Estimated completion: October 2010