Dominique Lyon Architectes

French Embassy, Tokyo (Japan)

French Embassy, Tokyo (Japan)
French Embassy, Tokyo (Japan)
French Embassy, Tokyo (Japan)
French Embassy, Tokyo (Japan)
French Embassy, Tokyo (Japan)
France often defines itself in terms of exceptions, and for its embassy in Tokyo it possesses grounds that are exceptional in terms of their size.

The new embassy is keen to maintain a vital relationship with this site that sets it apart.
The essence of the location lies both in the highly accentuated topography of the setting and the botanical continuity that gives the grounds their expansive dimensions.
How can you build without making a dent in this essential expression of nature ?

As a conflict between the natural and artificial is inevitable, we decided to take it to its limit : the building provides a frame for the park grounds. In this way, nature is showcased and enhanced. It makes a guaranteed impact : the plants contained in a greenhouse look like a jungle and a garden enclosed by walls seems like a world in itself.
The frame is made of polished stainless steel. It reflects a flower bed - a French speciality - in the foreground and the park in the background.
The rectilinear body of the embassy is made of white glass in depth. A colorful transparent screen runs in front of the office façades and erases the effect of repetitiveness. Its effect is comparable to that of certain sunglasses : it provides protection against the sun’s rays, shields from prying eyes and lends a touch of color to reality.

Client : French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Site : Tokyo, Japan
Competition : april 2002
Program : embassy offices, landscaping of the park, ambassador’s residence, staff accommodation
Surface area : 7 800 m²
Estimated cost (net) : 35 million €