‘Wowen City’ (the BIG’s first project in Japan) is an urban incubator for Toyota

‘Wowen City’, the BIG’s first project in Japan, is an urban incubator for Toyota

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, with Toyota Motor Corporation, unveils ‘Toyota Woven City‘, the world’s first urban incubator dedicated to the advancement of all aspects of mobility.
The project is conceived as a sort of living laboratory to test and advance mobility, autonomy, connectivity, hydrogen-powered infrastructure, and industry collaboration.
Located in a site of a former factory in the city of Susono in Shizuoka – at the foothills of Mount Fuji – ‘Toyota Woven City’ aims to creates a new equality among vehicles, alternate forms of movement, people and nature. The city will utilize solar energy, geothermal energy, and hydrogen fuel cell technology to strive towards a carbon-neutral society, with plans to break ground in phases beginning in 2021.


BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, ‘Wowen City’, Image by Squint Opera
Cover image by Bjarke Ingels Group

The Woven City is a flexible network of streets for various speeds of mobility for safer, pedestrian-friendly connections. The typical road is split into three, beginning with the primary street optimized for faster autonomous vehicles with logistical traffic underneath. The Toyota e-Palette – a driverless, clean, multi-purpose vehicle – will be used for shared transportation and delivery services, as well as for mobile retail, food, medical clinics, hotels, and workspaces.
The recreational promenade is occupied by micro-mobility types such as bicycles, scooters and other modes of personal transport, including Toyota’s i-Walk. The shared street offers to the residents a free path with increasing amounts of nature and space. The third type of street is the linear park, a path dedicated to pedestrians, flora, and fauna. An intimate trail provides a safe and pleasant environment for leisurely strolls and nature breaks through the ecological corridor connecting Mount Fuji to the Susono Valley.



BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, ‘Wowen City’, Images by Bjarke Ingels Group

The three street types are woven into 3×3 city blocks, each framing a courtyard accessible via the promenade or linear park. The urban fabric of the grid expands and contracts to accommodate a variety of scales, programs, and outdoor areas. In one instance, a courtyard ‘balloons’ to the scale of a large plaza, in another, to become a central park providing a city-wide amenity. Hidden from view, in an underground network, lies the infrastructure of the city, which includes hydrogen power, stormwater filtration and the delivery of a good network dubbed the ‘matternet’.



BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, ‘Wowen City’, Images by Bjarke Ingels Group

The buildings at the ‘Woven City’ will advance mass timber construction. By combining the legacy of Japanese craftmanship and the tatami module with robotic fabrication technology, Japan’s construction heritage lives on while building sustainably and efficiently into the future.
A mix of housing, retail, and business – to be built primarily of carbon-sequestering wood with photovoltaic panels installed on the roofs – characterize each city block. Toyota’s R&D spaces house robotic construction, 3D printing, and mobility labs, while typical offices flexibly accommodate workstations, lounges, and indoor gardens.
Toyota Woven City has the potential to lead as an example of how advances in mobility and technology will shape the physical world we live in. The Woven City is BIG’s first project in Japan and the latest masterplan unveiling following ‘Oceanix City’ at the United Nations last year.




BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, ‘Wowen City’, Images by Bjarke Ingels Group

Name: Toyota Woven City
Size: 175 acres / 708,200 m2
Location: Susono City, Shizuoka, Japan
Client: Toyota Motor Corporation + Kaleidoscope Creative
Collaborators: Squint Opera, Mobility in Chain, Atelier Ten

Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Leon Rost
Project Manager: Yu Inamoto
Project Leader: Giulia Frittoli
Team: Agla Egilsdottir, Alvaro Velosa, Brian Zhang, John Hein, Joseph Baisch, Mai Lee, Margherita Gistri, Nicolas Lapierre, Peter Sepassi, Raven Xu, Samantha Okolita, Shane Dalke, Thomas McMurtrie, Yi Lun Yang, Nasiq Kahn, Jeffrey Shumaker

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copyright Inexhibit 2020 - ISSN: 2283-5474