Verl Adams
Master's Project - 1999

Site, Tokyo Train Station



Existing Tokyo Station Building in Foreground with New Spaces Beyond


Tokyo is like a living organism in motion. Its lifeline is made up of a sophisticated railway system. The city pulsates as it carries its inhabitants through its veins, inhaling a mass of commuters each morning and exhaling them through the night. Train stations throughout Tokyo create nodes of hyper activity that define the dense, urban fabric.


Among the vibrant life of Tokyo, more public spaces are needed where one can pause, and momentarily escape the physical pressures of a chaotic city. This project proposes a public place of "refuge", juxtaposed with Tokyo Station, one of the most active spots in the city. New spaces, as though floating above the station, offer areas of physical retreat and mental stimulation.

Overhead View


The main program is separated into three parts, a public library, an art museum and an outdoor garden plaza. The scheme acknowledges the existing Tokyo Station's formalistic response to the Imperial Palace and business district on the Marunouchi side of the station, while addressing a more sporadic commercial district on the Yaesu side of the station. A series of escalators from both sides act as entrances up into the spaces "hovering" above.


Because of the density of the city, land for new buildings is extremely difficult to acquire. Utilizing the space above Tokyo Station provided the area needed for this project, however the flexibility required for the train lines below could not be compromised. Bridge-like trusses were utilized that were capable of spanning the entire distance of the station. This eliminated the need for support columns below the new structures and allowed the spaces for the trains to remain open and flexible.

Double Story Re-Design of Train Platforms Also Included in Master Plan

Suspended Tree @ Garden Plaza

Garden Plaza

Entrance to Public Library

Public Library

Library Section

View from Escalator

Art Museum

Museum Section

Yaesu Entrance