Three Projects Receive ICONIC AWARDS 2023, Germany


oak Konan Shinagawa, ES CON FIELD HOKKAIDO, and Kobe Sannomiya Hankyu Building, designed and constructed by Obayashi Corporation, have won the "ICONIC AWARDS 2023."

The ICONIC AWARDS is an international design award organized by the German Design Council, which comprehensively evaluates all designs within the field of architecture.  Awards are presented in five categories: Architecture, Interior, Product, Communication, and Concept, and in each category, three levels of recognition are given, namely "Best of Best," "Winner," and "Selection" in order of excellence. In the Innovative Architecture category, oak Konan Shinagawa and ES CON FIELD HOKKAIDO won the Winner, and the Kobe Sannomiya Hankyu Building won the Selection.


Innovative Architecture - Winner

oak Konan Shinagawa

A medium-scale office building located in Shinagawa, Tokyo, which consists of one basement floor and 12 floors above ground, and it was completed in 2022. Taking full advantage of the Obayashi Group's integrated capabilities in handling ordering, design, and construction, a variety of new technologies were introduced to enhance construction efficiency. The integration of the facade and the structure into a single unit allowed the realization of a large, column-free office space.

The lattice-like columns and beams, which also serve as the structure, are covered by an aluminum curtain wall that incorporates equipment such as air supply and exhaust units. The layering of components that blend design, structure, and equipment creates a visually striking appearance while adding value and enhancing productivity.

The impressive appearance is achieved through the white vertical and horizontal latticework, which utilizes a structural frame composed of columns and beams
The interior of the entrance hall echoes the vertical and horizontal grid pattern of the exterior design

Innovative Architecture - Winner


A glass wall 70 meters above the ground maximizes sunlight for natural turf growth (Photo by Kawasumi & Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office)

Under the slogan "a ballpark the world has never seen before," it opened in March 2023 as a ballpark unique to Hokkaido, capitalizing on the region's abundant natural surroundings.  The distinctive exterior boasts Japan's first and largest retractable roof, along with a 70-meter-high glass wall that allows natural light into the space.

The 360-degree walk-around concourse and seating layout, designed with a focus on sight lines, create a sense of excitement and immersion that can be felt anywhere in the stadium. The concourse is designed to create a sense of unity, achieved through the incorporation of light lines and floor color schemes that reflect the sunlight filtering through the trees.

Video and audio equipment create the next-generation live entertainment space that the baseball team is aiming for (courtesy of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters)

Innovative Architecture - Selection

Kobe Sannomiya Hankyu Building

The Kobe Sannomiya Hankyu Building is a 29-story, 120-meter-high retro-modern skyscraper complex that integrates a train station, commercial facilities, offices, and a hotel.

The exterior of the low-rise portion of the building was restored to reflect the distinctive design of the former Kobe Hankyu Building, such as arches, lattices, and reliefs. The original building, constructed in 1936, was damaged by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995.

The high-rise portion of the building is composed of modern and simple materials such as glass, aluminum, and PC panels (factory prefabricated concrete panels), while harmonizing with the colors and materials of the low-rise portion, creating a deeply sculpted, shaded design to achieve a sense of overall unity. The fusion of historical heritage and new design has created a symbol of Kobe's revitalization.

Emerged as a new landmark in Kobe Sannomiya
The concourse on the first floor of the East Building of the Kobe Sannomiya Hankyu Building features a three-story atrium, creating an open space that connects the Hankyu ticket gates at the far end of the building, visible from the outside station plaza to the JR side. This has created a new flow of people and bestowed upon the city a new identity, suited to its role as the gateway to Kobe.

Obayashi remains dedicated to contributing to the realization of a better society by providing buildings of outstanding design that bring comfort and prosperity.