1996 – Tokyo Big Sight – AXS Satow

Located on the shore of Tokyo Bay, Big Sight is Japan’s largest international convention venue. Its most distinctive feature is the unique architecture of its 58 m-high eight-storey Conference Tower. The site utilizes steel frame with reinforced concrete construction, boasting a total floor area of 230,873 m² which outsizes Makuhari Messe’s floor space by half, and of which 35% is indoors. The convention center is divided into three main areas, each with their own restaurants and other supporting facilities: The East Exhibition Hall, the West Exhibition Hall and the Conference Tower.

The architectural element most associated with the Tokyo Big Sight name, the glass and titanium-panelled Conference Tower appears as a set of four inverted pyramids mounted upon large supports. The first floor comprises an 1100-seat reception hall and four conference rooms of varying size. The second floor comprises the Entrance Plaza which is the main access area, the glass-roofed Event Plaza, the Entrance Hall which leads to the exhibition halls proper, and the Exhibition Plaza. There are no floors three through five due to the structure’s above-ground stature. Floors six and seven can be directly accessed via escalator from the second-floor Entrance Hall, and comprise the main convention facilities of the Tower. The sixth floor houses ten conference rooms of small to medium size, some of which can be merged into larger spaces by removing intervening partitions. Floor seven houses the 1000-seat International Conference Room as well as three conference rooms of much smaller size. Floor eight houses five conference rooms.  Scattered around the Tower’s vicinity are public art pieces, most of which are works by international artists such as Claes Oldenburg and his wife Coosje Van Bruggen, Michael Craig-Martin and Lee U-Fan. These include a giant sculpture of a saw, a large stylized pond and three marble beds.


Name: Tokyo Big Sight│Type: Exhibition│Architect: AXS Satow│Completed: 1996

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