Citicorp/Tobishima Headquarters was designed as a 24 story, 63,000 M2 ofﬁce tower for the newly developing Tokyo Teleport area of Tokyo Bay. A banking hall, art gallery, multipurpose hall, reception room and several restaurants and cafes were to be included in the program. The site is spatially generous, with unobstructed views of Tokyo. The building was therefore designed at two scales - one, through the use of grand gestures, relating to its location at the water's edge; the other relating to its more immediate context and to pedestrian scale.
The tower is arranged as a dynamic composition divided into three primary elements in order to reduce its apparent bulk and to create more elegant proportions. A waving screen of green glass, separated from the main work areas to create common breakout space, is layered over the frame, creating an iridescent surface which refracts sun light and evokes the motion of the sea.
Mr. Gates acted as lead designer on this project at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC.
Two secondary architectural elements are located at the top of the building. On the south side, a helipad is cantilevered off the surface, accenting this more neutral facade and forming a unique skyline element to be seen from the Teleport Highway below. On the north side, the reception room with its billboard-like facade clad in mirror glass acts as a beacon for the city, amplifying the light of the setting sun.
A loose arrangement of smaller-scale and more refined objects is placed at the base of the tower. A Banking Hall, Art Gallery, restaurants and Multipurpose Hall form a landscape of pavilion and garden analogs to traditional Japanese garden design, lending a rich experiential quality to the public zones of the building.
The Banking Hall is made of curving translucent glass block and has a cable suspension roof to create a unique, luminous space to transact business.
Tokyo, Japan 1990