Pelli Clarke & Partners Unveil Japan's Tallest Building, Marking the Launch of Azabudai Hills District in Tokyo

19 March 2024

Pelli Clarke & Partners have unveiled Mori JP Tower, Japan’s tallest building, marking the launch of Tokyo’s Azabudai Hills district. Rising from the heart of the development, Mori JP Tower soars 330 meters, creating a new landmark on the Tokyo skyline. A more than thirty-year urban regeneration project, Azabudai Hills is among the largest private developments in Tokyo’s history, creating a dynamic new mixed-use district in the center of the city.

Led and planned in collaboration with leading Japanese developer Mori Building, Pelli Clarke & Partners shaped the urban design and architectural approach for the 8.1 hectare Azabudai Hills, encompassing a master plan design and three high-rise towers. Conceived as a mixed-use modern urban village, Azabudai Hills integrates three high-rise towers incorporating residences, offices, and a hotel, as well as green spaces, art galleries, a food market, restaurants, an international school, retail, and cultural destinations. Anticipated to draw nearly 30 million visitors annually, the district embodies a vision for the future of Tokyo’s urban renewal and growth.

“The opportunity to design a city-within-a-city in Tokyo over the past decade has been an honor. Guided by the visionary team at Mori Building, we are proud to realize Azabudai Hills: a progressive, sustainable, and transformative destination—a contemporary urban village,” said Fred Clarke, co-Founder and Partner, Pelli Clarke & Partners. “Azabudai Hills has afforded us a unique opportunity to return to our roots as a practice, crafting buildings that will define the city’s skyline for decades to come, and crucially, are respectful of their context, community, and of the environment.”

“Mori JP Tower, and with it Azabudai Hills, is among the first buildings visitors see upon arrival to Tokyo, creating a new center and landmark for the city. To design a tower of this significance in a city renowned for its unique skyline is a privilege. We are honored to contribute in such a meaningful way to Tokyo’s urban realm, creating new parks, gathering spaces, places to work, and places to live, in one of the most vibrant cities in the world,” said Mitch Hirsch, Partner, Pelli Clarke & Partners.

Mori JP Tower blends technical finesse with a restrained, yet elegant design approach. Clad in a distinctive pearl-gray glass facade, the tower was designed to evoke the shape and symmetry of a lotus flower, with a crown featuring four curved glass petals. The form creates a new landmark, with a unique, singular and celebratory profile on Tokyo’s skyline. Illuminated with bands of integrated lighting, designed by L’Observatoire International, the tower’s distinct form glows at night, with strands of light drawing from the street to the sky, and encircling the crown. Global luxury hospitality company Aman has branded the top 11 floors of Mori JP Tower as Aman Residences, Tokyo. Adjacent to Mori JP Tower, two mixed-use towers have also been designed by Pelli Clarke & Partners. Residence A, at 53 stories tall, will host 320 residential units, alongside Aman's flagship 122-key luxury hotel, the first in its new brand, Janu Tokyo, opening this month. The 64-story Residence B will host 970 residential units.

Designed with a community-first approach and a focus on social and environmental sustainability, Azabudai Hills integrates urban living with nature. At street level, a robust mix of public space, parks and green spaces, pedestrian walking paths, retail and an expansive market hall, create access to and through the site for the neighborhood. Approximately 24,000 square meters—one third of the site—is green space, including an expansive lawn for gathering. The landscape encompasses approximately 320 types of plants, including an urban orchard. At the base of each tower, a “Modern Urban Village”, inspired by the area's geological heritage, serves as a central gathering place filled with native trees, foliage, and waterscapes. The public realm and lower-level architecture are crafted by UK-based Heatherwick Studio and the retail space was imagined by Sou Fujimoto Architects of Japan.

The entirety of the electricity supplied to Azabudai Hills is zero-emission renewable energy as a part of its compliance with the international RE100 initiative. Tenants can track the source of their energy, using Mori Building's proprietary Energy Web System, ensuring transparency. The development also leverages additional sustainable technologies, such as heat from sewage, to reduce CO2 emissions across the district by about 70 tons per year. Throughout the site, rainwater is stored and treated for reuse in watering greenery. Wastewater from residences will be recycled and treated for use in toilets on office floors, and water-saving equipment throughout the complex will help to reduce water usage to 40% just off the LEED

Azabudai Hills is designed for resiliency in the face of natural disasters, with a focus on seismic-responsive design. All three towers incorporate earthquake-resistant technologies, ensuring the development’s safety during Japan’s earthquake season.

Azabudai Hills has received preliminary Platinum LEED certification in the Neighborhood Development category, the highest rating available, and the first property in Tokyo to receive the rating. Mori JP Tower is expected to become the world’s first skyscraper to achieve WELL, LEED ND and LEED BD+C (CS) certification. Azabudai Hills sits atop the Tokyo Metro system,
with direct access to Kamiyacho Station.

To find out more about Azabudai Hills visit: