Tokyo’s cloud-harvesting vertical commuter town

Kohn Pedersen Fox and Leslie E. Robertson Associates aim to build it by 2045. Will they succeed?
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Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA
Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA

Tokyo has adapted to the vicissitudes of Japanese earthquakes and tsunamis over the years, so it is perhaps better suited than most cities when adapting to climate change. Yet, could the Japanese capital and largest city in the world build out into its bay, in order to overcome the ecological problems of the next thirty years?

 

Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA
Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA

That’s certainly the proposal being put forward by Kohn Pedersen Fox and Leslie E. Robertson Associates, two firms well-known for their large-scale infrastructure projects.

The proposal, called Next Tokyo, postulates the creation of a new city in the city’s coastal waters, built on a chain of man-made islands.

 

Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA
Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA

“The archipelago of reclaimed land supports a transit-orientated develop for a half-million occupants, while improving the resilience of Toyko Bay against waterborne risks,” the firms say. This line of hexagonal rings is designed to break-up adverse waves, while the mile-high central tower would have cloud-harvesting technology built into its upper floors, supplying the upper apartments with fresh water.

 

Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA
Next Tokyo by KPF and LERA

The skyscraper would serve as a kind of vertical commuter town, while the honeycomb-shaped rings could contain water desalination plants, public beaches or urban farms. This proposal, which the firms think might be feasible by 2045, might sound a little far-fetched, yet KPF have some form when it comes to schemes such as this. In 2012 they won the prize to develop a new Chinese city around a 40-hectare lake. Next Tokyo is somewhat more ambitious, but not beyond the realms of contemporary architecture’s imaginations. For more on how we might be living in the future consider The World We Made, while, for insight into contemporary Japanese architecture on a much smaller scale get Jutaku.


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