Kengo Kuma’s wooden structure in Shibuya emits essential oils

There’s a new place in Tokyo where people can relax and reconnect with nature.

The AEAJ Green Terrace complex by Kengo Kuma & Associates, located in the vibrant Shibuya district of Tokyo, is an oasis of tranquility designed to offer a relaxing and sensory awakening experience within the urban space. Kuma has indeed created a complex wooden and steel structure that, through the power of smell, aims to promote the well-being of visitors.

The three-story building is made of cedar and cypress wood entirely sourced from Japanese forests. These slender beams, intersecting, give life to a complex lattice: a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional Japanese wood joinery techniques. The wooden frame also dampens the vibrations of the steel structure and contributes to creating a contemplative and highly symbolic atmosphere, where time seems suspended. Sunlight filters through the beams, just like in a forest, casting patterned shadows inside, and the use of natural materials, of which Kengo Kuma is a master, extends to stone floors and earthy tones. Furthermore, this abundant use of wood causes the structural elements to spontaneously release their essential oils into the space, transforming the entire building into a sort of giant diffuser, where the senses have the freedom to expand.

Spaces for olfactory education such as the “Aroma Laboratory” and the “Aroma Library” then invite exploration, research, discovery, and learning, while the “Aroma Lounge” provides a refuge for relaxation and meditation.

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