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Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

Shinjuku Gardens, Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2010-
Main Use: Car Park, Gallery
Site Area: 2,200 sqm
Bldg. Area: 1,800 sqm
GFA: 3,200 sqm parking above ground/ 1,800 sqm public accessible gardens on roof top
Storeys: 2
 

A' Design Silver Award 2013 - 2014, Architecture, Building and Structure Design: Shinjuku Gardens Car Park and Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

A' Design Award Exhibition, 2014, Broletto di Como, Italy, 2014

TDW Exhibition, Tokyo Designers Week 2012, Tokyo, Japan: Shinjuku Gardens, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, 2012

Condé Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Awards 2011, Category: Infrastructure
The panel, comprised of experts from the arts, science, technology and media who created shortlists of the very best selection of innovation and design ideas from around the world selected Shinjuku Gardens, Tokyo, Japan by Cheungvogl alongside projects and designs by Kazuyo Sejima, Issey Miyakei, Herzog & de Meuron, Álvaro Siza, David Chipperfield, Norman Foster, David Adjaye, Karim Rashid, Jean Nouvel, Bernard Tschumi and Ai Weiwei.

 

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

 

Land is scarce in the inner city of Tokyo and restful green spaces few and far between. 'Shinjuku Gardens' - in the thriving hub of Tokyo's inner city, is a conscious effort to make the most of the available open space; pushing boundaries in a quest to amalgamate much needed natural landscape into the infrastructure of the city. The project raises economic, social, environmental and cultural awareness on various aspects. The design strategies aim to maximize investment returns by providing more than double the amount of car parking spaces; optimize opportunities to inject greenscape to reduce CO2 exhaust emissions, and promote the arts and culture by offering spaces for art exhibitions in the city centre of Tokyo. 

 

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

Shinjuku Gardens is an urban intervention, which aims to create a ground for nature to co-exist within the dense city context. Alternative to only allowing a sliver of landscape to establish within the urban grain of Shinjuku, like a singular wild grass growing between cracked asphalt, the project considers the macrocosm of nature and how wild flowers can be used to fill the facades as blank canvases with changing colours all year round. The façades and roof-top will become a naturally grown biotope.

 

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

 

'Shinjuku Gardens' replaces an existing open car parking lot (with 80 car parking spaces, equivalent to a ratio of 27.5 sqm of GFA per parking space) with a 2-storey car park; rendering the site with a sheltered 'green-wall-gallery' which will accommodate an additional 83 parking spaces (providing a total number of 163, which offers a ratio of 19.6 sqm of GFA per parking space). Appreciating the economic value of land, the car park adopts the most efficient parking layout grid. Replacing conventional car ramps with car lifts will maximize parking spaces; minimize traffic congestion, safety hazards and waiting time. This highly rational 54m x 33m parking structure occupies 22% less site coverage compare to the existing layout, leaving more quality public green spaces and allowing light and air to penetrate deeper into the already dense urban environment. External pedestrian ramps are inserted to provide public access to the rooftop garden and park-gallery above ground.  


 

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

The simple, restrained and clear material palette subtlety blends in with the existing city fabric. The 'soft-cladding' of the structure is characterised by the wide balustrades to allow grass to coat the exterior of the frame, creating layers of 'green living-walls' as enclosures to the structure. Visually, the architecture enriches the community with layers of translucent green-curtains, while shielding the views of parked cars. Functionally, the 'soft-cladding' utilizes the fields of grass to absorb CO2 exhaust emissions, acting as clean air filters between the buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan


The rooftop garden is a new green oasis above the dedicated car park facility. This intimate social space above the infrastructure and man-made concrete structure is freely accessible and animated by the public at all times.

The two levels of car park are envisaged as park-galleries, where street artists are invited to exhibit their artworks onto the surfaces of walls, ceilings, floors and structures. Architecture and art emerge as one entity, literally increasing the physical dimensions of ‘canvases’ for young artists and creating opportunities for contemporary art exhibitions. The roof garden will also be utilized for displaying of permanent and large scale installations.  

 

 


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan


Parking lot boundaries, typically demarcated by thin painted lines are now marked by potted flowers. This nonvisible ‘line’ might seem ephemerally radical, but it certainly engages greater social awareness and responsibility, even in a small gesture of way finding experience through the car park. This intervention allows people to interact and begin to think deeper about the environment.

Using structural columns and structural slabs as blank canvases for artists to create art might be a new culture to bring the arts into the everyday lives. Exhibiting art within found spaces is undoubtedly an economically viable and functionally manageable alternative to make the arts more accessible to the public. The project blurs between architecture and art; turning a conventional car park project into a Street Art Museum - looking deeper into the everyday ordinary environment to seek surprising findings. Appreciating small events like walking through the parking deck might allow one to uncover new findings of the everyday – a painting on the floor, a scattered potted plant or even a flower blooming – we might just find new interpretations in our daily context by seeing things in a new way.  

 

 


Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

 


Cheungvogl: Setting the Stage

The Hong Kong based studio sees architecture as a framework for life to happen. 
"We never intended to establish a design manifesto or a design language as we do believe that every project has to react to its individual challenges and context," begins the architect Christoph Vogl, partner (along with Judy Cheung) in the young firm Cheungvogl.
The design practice is based in Hong Kong, with satellite offices in Mainland China and Germany, and has an international approach to design. But there is something that links the work across settings and scales. "The common thread is the way we look at architecture as a framework for life to happen, similar to a stage set that provides the audience with an open interpretation for the play itself. Architecture only begins as it starts to evolve, transform and inspire people and its communities around it," says Vogl.
The office has tackled everything from small-scale residential work to large institutional projects, but in Hong Kong the designers are perhaps known best for their retail environments for Australian natural-cosmetics company Aesop.
Vogl believes that even a retail space can become an extension of public space. "Retail generally occupies the spaces around the most frequented public areas in our cities," says Vogl, "This omnipresence also means that retail holds a responsibility for contribution to quality of life in these public spaces. In these means, retail should not be exclusive, but open and inviting. The visit to a store should not make someone feel obliged to buy a product, but provide the opportunity to see, feel and touch."
Other notable retail work includes the Benetton flagship in Tehran, where Cheungvogl used a translucent wrapper to hint at the veils worn by Iranian women. "We investigate and analyse all aspects and facets of the brand's specific characteristics as a 'personality'," Vogl says. This helps to balance the aesthetic desires of the client with those of the architect. "With this understanding we like to show our clients new ways to communicate and engage with their customers to enhance the brand's identity. In successful retail design, architecture is more to be seen as a communication tool, where we enhance the brand's language with our own vocabulary."
In projects for institutional clients, particularly in the arts, Cheungvogl has enjoyed more freedom for tectonic expression. A recent concept for the exhibition venue Dubai 7 is a stripped modernist presence with traditionalism at its heart. Vogl explains that it makes "a strong reference to traditional Arabic architecture; the exhibition space is formed around an undulating vertical landscape that provides filtered light into the interior spaces as a reinterpretation of the organisation of traditional Arabic courtyard houses". Yet the building's concrete mass also uses contemporary solar technology for cooling.  

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan


Meanwhile the concrete structure of Shinjuku Gardens, a parking garage and gallery space in Tokyo, is masked by greenery. Vogl clarifies the aesthetic and functional logic of the decision: "Rather than simply leaving the facades open for natural ventilation to avoid the cost of mechanical ventilation, we introduced a living enclosure of grass. The green curtain does not only create a barrier between the parked cars and the outside, but the changing appearance throughout the seasons also enhances its neighbourhood with a green oasis amongst the dense urban context."
The generosity of the urban gesture is typical of the office's projects, all of which seek to use architecture as a tool for improving everyday life for the building's users as well as for neighbours and passersby. Vogl phrases it in terms of responsibility: "As architects we have the possibility to create change, rather than to only have our opinion or talk about it."
Cheungvogl has just completed a master plan in Chengdu, China and the office is currently working on other projects in China as well as Southeast Asia and Europe."

Cheungvogl: Setting the Stage, Jessica Niles DeHoff,  InDesignLive.Asia, March 2013

 

 

Cheungvogl Architects Hong Kong Shinjuku Gardens Car Park Gallery Tokyo Japan

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