The Bubble Economy (1985-1995): Artist’s Impression of Odaiba (1990)

The Bubble Economy (1985-1995): Artist’s Impression of Odaiba (1990)

The Tokyo Waterfront Subcentre covers 448 hectares of reclaimed land within the inner Tokyo Bay. The area was divided into four sub-districts: Aomi, Ariake South, Ariake North and Daiba. Each district was mixed-use in nature. However, they were designed to embody a dominant function that makes up for its unique identity [1]. The four main functions are commercial (Aomi), convention and exhibition (Ariake South), residential (Ariake North) and recreational (Daiba). The below drawings reveal the expected urban landscape of the subcentre. Notes can be taken on the traffic network that was visibly segregated.

Fig. 1. Artist’s impression of Daiba District

Daiba is the leisure zone of Odaiba, equipped with a waterfront park as shown by the dense vegetation along the shoreline. Traffic axis is clearly distinguishable in this drawing, for example the elevated railway and the waterside promenade. State-of-the-art buildings were also planned to be erected along the railway, doubling the railway as a sightseeing attraction. The most recognizable buildings are Fuji Television Building (one with a sphere attached) and Grand Nikko Tokyo hotel (one with spiraling steps).


Fig. 2. Artist’s impression of Aomi District

The depiction of Aomi’s lively atmosphere at night hinted at its importance to the entire of Odaiba. Designed to operate non-stop like a heart to Odaiba, Aomi was expected to be a “24-hour zone” that will concentrate commerce and business [2]. The large plaza in the junction reflected a feature from the large scale top-down planning of Odiaba.  The central axis led to a central public plaza with secondary roads that connect destinations with a series of network.


[1] Patrick, City, Capital, and Water, 165-166.

[2] Patrick, City, Capital, and Water, 166, 170.



Malone, Patrick. City, Capital, and Water. London, England: Routledge, 1996.

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