On August 1, Tokio Marine Holdings released details on the Renzo Piano-designed replacement office tower for their headquarters in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district. It is said to become the world’s largest wooden hybrid building when it’s complete in 2028.

The new tower will be 100 meters tall with 20 floors and a total floor area of 130,000 sqm. The structure will incorporate wooden columns and cross-laminated timber (CLT) floors, wrapped in a glass-wall facade. A rooftop forest will provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s leading business district while forming a connection with the greenery of the Imperial Palace estate.

This will be the first office building designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop SAS in Japan. He also designed the Maison Hermes retail building in Ginza, known for its glass block exterior. 

This will replace the current modernist office tower designed by Maekawa Kunio and completed in 1974. At a height of 108 meters, this was Marunocuhi’s first ‘high-rise’, but it was originally planned to be much taller, 130 meters to be exact. That height was considered too tall for its time, and plans were revised downwards to a more conservative height. The building created a stir as Marunouchi was designated as an Aesthetic District in 1933 to protect the area surrounding the Imperial Palace. Maekawa’s construction plans for a 130-meter tall tower were rejected by the Tokyo Government in 1967 because a high-rise would impose over the nearby Palace. Eventually, plans were approved for the smaller tower, with construction starting in 1970. Construction costs totaled 13.1 billion Yen. 

The facade of the 25-story building is covered in reddish-brown tiles and still stands out in a sea of monotone glass office towers. The Tokyo Marine building is now dwarfed by its newer neighbors, including the 197-meter tall Shin-Marunouchi Building (c2007), located across the street. 

Tokyo Marine Holdings made the decision to redevelop this building along with its annex building (c1986) in response to changes in working styles and a need to prioritize safety in the event of a disaster. Demolition will start in 2023 with a new building completed in 2028. Tokyo Marine will occupy the new building upon completion.

To be demolished.

Source: Tokyo Marine Holdings News Release, August 1, 2022.