Projects History

Our History


Founded in 1900, 26 professionals embarked on a journey. This was a time when Japan was rapidly pressing forward with modernization. Nikken Sekkei also was beginning to acquire the architectural styles and techniques of the west. This “pursuit of technology” went on to become an embedded basic principle in the firm.

The Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library was designed by the Sumitomo Tentative Architecture Department (forerunner of Nikken Sekkei) and opened in 1904. It is the oldest library in use in Japan. In 1974, the main building and its north and south wings were designated important Cultural Properties."

The environmentally conscious design ethos evident in its very first project, incorporating natural day lighting and long building life, endures to this day.

*All photos are taken at the completion of the buildings

The Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library (Osaka, Japan)
A symbol of the knowledge, culture, and history of Osaka

1926-Fostering Transparency and Trust

From 1916 on, work on the long-awaited Sumitomo Head Office in Osaka proceeded. Construction of the Head office commenced in 1922; the building's northern half was completed in 1926 and the southern half in 1930. The new Head Office in downtown Osaka was a mixture of functional efficiency and emblematice classicism.

Sumitomo Building
(Osaka, Japan)

1958Manifestation of Craftsmanship and Engineering

To create a monument to symbolize Japan's rising economic strength, and accommodate the start of television broadcasting by various broadcasting stations, Nippon Television City Corporation appointed Nikken Sekkei to design Tokyo Tower, a self-supporting antenna tower. The designer left the comment: “Based on the concept of safety first, this structure is the accomplishment of pursuing efficiency and stability—in other words, an aesthetic created by numbers.”

Tokyo Tower
(Tokyo, Japan)

1963Guarding the Heart of Ginza

Since its completion in 1963, San’ai has become one of the most widely publicized landmarks in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

San’ai was perhaps the first building in Japan to utilize light as an urban element. Because the building's perimeter is transparent, during the day merchandise displayed on the inside is visible to potential customers on the outside: and because San'ai's ceiling are almost entirely filled with lighting fixtures, at night the building becomes an illuminated showcase for window shoppers on Tokyo's main commercial throunghfare-Ginza.

San’ai Dream Center
(Tokyo, Japan)

1966The first in a series of long-span office buildings by Nikken Sekkei

New Beginning of prototypical multipurpose building Total (119,700 sqm). The building was at the time of its completion one of the largest. Palaceside was, in fact, to be the first in a series of long-span office buildings by Nikken Sekkei.

Palaceside Building
(Tokyo, Japan)

1970Pioneering private sector-led urban development

1965 signaled the start of Japan’s urban development. Osaka Business Park was a project undertaken by the private owner of the land, and is positioned as a model project for harnessing private sector vitality. In 1991, the planning team, which included Nikken Sekkei, won an Architectural Institute of Japan prize in recognition of its pioneering role in private sector-led urban development.

Osaka Business Park
(Osaka, Japan)

1978Supporting the internationalization of Japan

In the 1960s, high economic growth brought about increasing demands for international transport, large-sized passenger jets, and enhanced air traffic capacity through runway expansion. Plans were made to build the New Tokyo International Airport (currently Narita International Airport). Since the opening of the airport in 1978, Nikken Sekkei has provided designs with new concepts and functions that answer the needs of the age, and even today, continues to support the expansion of the airport.

Narita International Airport
(Chiba, Japan)

1988The facility has become a point of reference for large-scale events

Tokyo Dome is Japan’s first domed stadium, complete in 1988.
The studium is the one of the largest air pressurized structures in Japan.

Tokyo Dome's massive interior space allows baseball games and other large-scale events , such as major music concerts and exhibition to be held regardless of weather.

Tokyo Dome
(Tokyo, Japan)

1993Realization of environmental architecture on a global scale

Detailed studies and processes have been done to harmonize the building with the local climate and to achieve the integration of the Islamic design and the modern architectural techniques.

Islamic Development Bank Headquarters
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

1997Pioneer in TOD projects

Cities and architecture are becoming larger and more multifunctional. Amid such trends, TOD (Transit Oriented Development) is a method used to build urban dynamism and highly sustainable cities through the synergistic effects of public transit combined with urban development. Queen’s Square Yokohama is a pioneering example of this method as a development integrating transportation infrastructure and a large-scale mixed-use facility comprising commercial facilities, offices, a hotel, and concert hall.

Queen's Square Yokohama
(Kanagawa, Japan)

2000All-out development of business in China

Over two decades have passed since the Nikken Group began committing itself to developing business in China. We have so far been engaged in seven projects in the Lujiazui Financial District, which has been undergoing striking economic growth since the 1990s. Business is now brisk in other cities and districts as well, and our field is expanding.

Pudong New Area
(Shanghai, China)

2011Experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake

On March 11, 2011, a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck eastern Japan. One of the basic principles in the design of Japanese Red Cross Ishinomaki Hospital was for it to be “a hospital resilient to disasters.” The results of land history surveys were reflected and the ground level was raised to locate the building higher than the water level that was reached when the old Kitakami River flooded in the past. As a result, the building was not flooded by the tsunami and was able to fully support the activities of the hospital and medical relief teams. This experience has been contributing to the design of medical institutions since then. Based on lessons learned from this earthquake Nikken Sekkei also reviewed its design methodologies to ensure resilience against disasters. In other activities, a team of volunteers developed an “escape map” that took in the perspective of urban design and architectural professionals. As a tool for citizens to formulate disaster preparedness plans and build consensus, the use of this map is spreading not just throughout Japan, but in other countries of the world.

Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital
(Miyagi, Japan)

2012Concentrating technologies to weave the future

A tower some 600 meters high became necessary to ensure stable broadcasting services in central Tokyo, which is a virtual forest of 200-meter high skyscrapers. Nikken Sekkei summoned its experience in designing broadcasting towers and skyscrapers, and designed the world’s highest free-standing broadcasting tower, Tokyo Skytree. While serving as a broadcasting tower, this landmark of Tokyo also possesses features for disaster control in times of emergencies.

Tokyo Skytree (SM)
(Tokyo, Japan)

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