Kengo Kuma’s Origami-Inspired Vision for Takanawa Gateway Station


(this article was updated in December 2018 to reflect the new name of the train station)

Less than 1 year after being selected to design Tokyo’s National Stadium for the 2020 Olympics, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has snagged another high-profile gig: designing the New Takanawa Gateway Station in Tokyo.

Takanawa Gateway as it is expected to become a major transportation hub, given its close location to Tokyo’s Haneda airport as well as Shinagawa Station, where a new maglev train line is scheduled to open in 2027.



Under the wings of Kuma, the new 3-story station will open between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations in the Spring of 2020, just months before the Tokyo Olympics. It’s being built in an old rail yard. However, this will be a provisional opening with a full-fledged opening not scheduled until 2024.

Similar to his plan for Tokyo’s National Stadium, Kuma is going to use plenty of wood throughout the station to give it a natural, modern and Japanese feel. The feature and star characteristic of the station though will undoubtedly be the roof. Planned to be roughly the length of a soccer field, Kuma has imagined a geometric roof that resembles origami, but also takes inspiration from the paneling of Japanese shoji screens. The random folds along the roof will represent the train station’s dynamic diversity.

It sounds like Kuma is going to have his work cut out for him between now and 2020.


1 Comment

  1. I love how bright and open it is! I live in Washington DC and the metro stations are like caves…

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