Tokyo International Air Terminal Commercial Zone

Hiroshi Ueda

A new international terminal opened at Haneda Airport in the fall of 2010. This project is a design for a shopping and dining area within that terminal. Thinking of Haneda as a “Tokyo” airport as opposed to Narita, the “Japanese” airport, we decided to re-create a streetscape of Edo period, historical Tokyo, in the new terminal’s commercial zone.
It is situated in the mezzanine of the check-in area, a large atrium space built with cutting-edge technology. The basic concept is to gradually change the scenery as if one is traveling through time from the present to the historical Edo. “Sky Garden” is the name of the in-between space; a contemporary space that also reminds us of Japanese tradition. It is both a garden and an architectural space at the same time, and lays before “Edo Passage”, which is a strict re-modeling of an historical Edo streetscape. In other words, the “Sky Garden” space conceals the historical “Edo Passage” behind it and this garden space establishes a link between the present and the past. Visitors encounter this commercial space, coming from a contemporary atrium space and passing through the intermediate “Sky Garden”, and finally to “Edo Passage”.
Our mission was to design the “Sky Garden” space and collaborate with the Sukiya carpenter at Sotoji Nakamura Office, one of the best tea-house carpenters in Kyoto, who designed and constructed “Edo Passage”. In a sense, our commission implied building a bridge between Japanese traditional architectural engineering and today’s most leading architectural technology.