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Competition: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line revamp, Japan

Tokyo Metro has announced a two-stage open international competition to overhaul three stations on its Ginza Line (Deadline: 2 December)

The contest seeks ‘unique and practical’ proposals to improve the passenger experience at Aoyama-itchome (pictured), Gaien-Mae and Omote-sando stations.

The project is part of an ongoing regeneration of the historic Ginza Line which will see the three stations transformed and rebranded as a new ‘Trend Area’ intended to boost tourism.

Tokyo Metro, Japan

Tokyo Metro, Japan

Aoyama-itchome Station, Ginza Line

According to the brief: ‘The Trend Area will be where new trends are always being created, attracting many foreign tourists and early adopters.

‘We would like you all to propose a station design and favourable user experience which is forward-looking and anticipates the future beyond 2020 – so that the very experience of using the Tokyo Metro could turn into a trend.’

Thought to be the most populous metropolitan area in the world, Tokyo hosts one of the oldest metro systems in Asia and all but 6 of the 51 busiest train stations on the planet. Tokyo’s metro network had an average daily ridership of 6.84 million passengers in 2014.

Located in central south west Tokyo – the three stations all serve major tourist attractions including Meiji shrine, Meiji Jingu park, Yoyogi Park, the State Guesthouse and the historic Akasaka Palace.

Dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, the Meiji shrine is located inside Meiji Jingu park which hosted Tokyo Design Week and is also home to the TEPIA Technology Museum.

Other nearby landmarks include the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium which is now being built to designs by Kengo Kuma after competition-winning proposals by Zaha Hadid Architects were abandoned.

Tokyo Metro, Japan

Tokyo Metro, Japan

Aoyama-itchome Station, Ginza Line

First opened in 1927, the ageing Ginza Line is undergoing a programme of renewal and modernisation ahead of its 90th anniversary next year.

As part of the programme new platforms and ticket gates will be installed at Aoyama-itchome, Gaien-Mae, Omote-sando stations. A new multi-level entrance will furthermore be delivered at Aoyama-itchome station and designs must improve connections between the other lines.

The project aims to boost awareness of each station’s history and promote new connections between passengers, society and Tokyo Metro which took over operation of the network when it was privatised 12 years ago.

Proposals should introduce new visual elements referencing the surrounding area which help create a sense of being aboveground when inside the stations.

Submissions will only be accepted by post or courier and should include one A2-sized board with an A4 registration form completed in either Japanese or English.

The winning team - set to be announced in March following a review of finalists in January - will take home a top prize of JPY 500,000.

Up to two design excellence awards worth JPY 300,000 and several honourable mentions of JPY 100,000 will also be awarded.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 5pm (JST/UTC+9) on 2 December

Contact details

Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Trend Area Station Design Competition Office
Meisanshinkawa city bldg. 6F
Shinkawa 1-25-9
Chuo-ku
Tokyo
JAPAN 104-0033

Email: info@tokyometro-competition.jp

Visit the competition website for more information

Tottenham Court Road station case study: Q&A with Roger Hawkins

The partner at Hawkins\Brown discusses lessons learned upgrading Tottenham Court Road station in central London

How did your project upgrade Tottenham Court Road station for the twenty first century?

Frank Pick’s iconic underground map puts Tottenham Court Road Station firmly at the heart of London, with the Northern Line (black) neatly bisecting the Central Line (red). Being at the centre of a system now used by 1.34 billion passengers per year puts a strain on the existing 1925 ticket hall originally built as an interchange for a few hundred people per hour.

London

London

Source: Image by Thierry Bal

Tottenham Court Road station by Hawkins\Brown

Predicted to be used by 200,000 people per day by 2018, a six-fold increase in floor area of the basement ticket hall from 300m² to 1,500m² and new escalators to serve the Northern Line was required as a fundamental parameter of congestion relief. Discharging large numbers of people onto the street needed careful review of the public realm and space around the station entrance. At Tottenham Court Road the ticket hall roof has become a new plaza adjacent Centre Point and a distinctive new landmark for the West End.

An audit of central London stations following the Kings Cross fire of 1987 highlighted the need to provide alternative means of escape and this has been achieved by ‘double ending’ both sets of platforms and making connections to Crossrail. New lifts from street level to ticket hall and to platform level has delivered step free access throughout the station.

London

London

Source: Image by Hawkins\Brown

Tottenham Court Road station by Hawkins\Brown

Which architectural, material, structural and conservation methods did you harness to guarantee the project’s success?

Mixing new and old has needed care and attention. For example the majority of mosaic tiling, patterned by Eduardo Paolozzi has been retained in situ at platforms, complemented by new artwork by Daniel Buren at ticket hall level. Bold coloured strips on glass panels line walls around station entrances. The whole station environment has been conceived as an art gallery with additional work by Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright, commissioned by Crossrail.

What issues might be important when upgrading historic stations in important cultural districts such as Tokyo’s Trend Area?

These are engineering led projects and the architect’s role is to consider the passenger experience and keep design on the agenda at all stages. It is imperative to establish a clear diagram for wayfinding and pedestrian flow at the outset and overlay this with an understanding of service routes and ventilation. Signage and advertising needs to be controlled to avoid clutter and confusion in passenger areas.

London

London

Source: Image by Thierry Bal

Tottenham Court Road station by Hawkins\Brown