A City Within itself
Roppongi Hills will always be remembered as the first of Tokyo’s grand scale mixed-use developments of the new millenium. Its concept of “city within a city” made it the flagship for Mori Building’s cutting edge urban design and architecture.
Opened in early 2003, Roppongi Hills set the scene for other similar shopping-office mega complexes of its kind to follow. In fact, this massive site in the center of Tokyo is actually made up of more than 400 smaller lots which took Mori Building over 14 years to acquire.
Mori’s vision was to build an integrated development where high-rise inner-urban communities allow people to live, work, play, and shop in proximity to eliminate commuting time. He argued that this would increase leisure time, quality of life and allow for more public green space.
The mega-complex incorporates many buildings – office space, apartments, more than 200 shops, restaurants, cafes, movie theaters, a museum, a hotel, a major TV studio (Azahi TV see photo below), an outdoor amphitheater, and a few parks. A large part of this development reads as a landscape of buildings each unique yet somehow woven together as one with Mori Tower as the centerpiece.
Asahi TV & Mohri Garden
The Mori Tower is a 238 meter tall , 54-story high-rise building housing an art museum, a cinema complex, restaurants, cafes, stores, the offices of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, TV Asahi, J-WAVE, Konami, Rakuten, Livedoor, Yahoo! Japan, and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.
The first six levels of Mori Tower contain retail stores and restaurants. The top six floors house the Mori Art Museum and the Tokyo City View with panoramic views of the city.
Roppongi Hills is located in Roppongi connected to Oedo Line’s Roppongi Station. A new exit from Roppongi Station empties into Metro Hat – a round glass atrium filled with large television screens and escalators, as well as several shops and restaurants leading right up into Roppongi Hills on the basement and street levels.
Roppongi Hills Residence
Around the Mori Tower are several smaller buildings predominantly occupied by shops and restaurants, a Virgin Cinemaplex, and the Mori Garden. Behind the Mori Tower lies the Roppongi Keyakizaka Street which has cafes and luxury stores such as Louis Vuitton. Nearby are the four Roppongi Hills Residences towers, with a total of 793 luxurious and very expensive residential apartments.
Large open spaces have been built into the design of Roppongi Hills. About half of the area consists of gardens, pavilions, and other open spaces. The Mohri Garden, an elaborate and authentic Japanese garden complete with a pond and trees is particularly popular.