IN WITH THE NEW: When Japanese property developer Mitsui Fudosan said in 2005 that it would tear down the historic Sanshin Building in Tokyo’s Hibiya district, it was met with opposition by historians and architects who sought to preserve the property. Nevertheless, demolition of the building began in 2007, and now Mitsui has released details of what will replace it.
The Tokyo Midtown Hibiya project will occupy the land of the former Sanshin Building, as well as its neighboring Hibiya Mitsui Building. It is Mitsui’s second Tokyo Midtown development, the first of which opened a decade ago near the Roppongi subway station. The new project’s grand opening is set for March 29, 2018, and its neighbors will include the Imperial Hotel and the Peninsula Tokyo.
Designed by British architectural firm Hopkins Architects, Tokyo Midtown Hibiya will consist of over two million square feet of office, retail and leisure space, spread across 35 above-ground floors and four basement levels. There will be outdoor terrace spaces with lots of greenery; a conference center; an 11-screen, 2,300-seat cinema complex, and views over Hibiya Park. Like the original Tokyo Midtown, there will also be a Billboard music café. The building will employ some of the latest earthquake-resistant construction methods, and the shopping areas on five of the floors have been designed with arches and retro-inspired fixtures in order to mimic the interior of the old Sanshin Building.
A total of eight floors and 193,750 square feet will be dedicated to retail space. Of the 60 stores and restaurants, five will represent brands’ first shops in Japan. Mastermind Japan will get its first flagship in the world, popular New York eatery Buvette will make its entry into the Japanese market and customers will be able to shop luxury cosmetics brands at a new outpost of Isetan Mirror. Other brands represented will include Pellico, APC, The North Face and Delfonics stationery.