Amazing Green Building: The ACROS Fukuoka

In Fukuoka City in Japan, they have an amazing building called “ACROS Fukuoka” with two very distinct sides: one side looks like a conventional office building with glass walls, but on the other side there is a huge terraced roof that merges with a park.

The garden terraces, which reach up to about 60 meters above the ground, contain some 35,000 plants representing 76 species. A huge semicircular atrium and the triangular lobby provide contrast to the greenery, in this space is a symphony hall, offices and shops.


The building was also featured in a book about green roofs.

The Arcos building was constructed on the last remaining green space in the city center, so the architects, Emilio Ambasz & Associates, created a design to preserve the green space as much as possible, while still fitting in a large office building. In addition, a green roof reduces the energy consumption of a building, because it keeps the temperature inside more constant and comfortable. Green roofs also capture rainwater runoff, and support the life of insects and birds.


The building is a success in Japan, its terraced south facade utilized by many in the area for exercise and rest, affording views of the city and the harbor beyond. Unfortunately it has received little press overseas, especially in the United States.

33 thoughts on “Amazing Green Building: The ACROS Fukuoka”

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Architecture Around the World – Erdem Evren

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  3. I’ve been trying to contact you in regards to one of the photos in this post. I’m writing again, on behalf of non-profit Candlewood Media Collective in New York City, we are interested in using a photo from this post in our film”Re-Generation”. We found the photo in the post “Amazing Green Building: The ACROS Fukuoka” here: Here is link to actual image:

    If you can, please let us know the source or owner of the photo so we can ask them permission to use in our film.

    Our film is about the impact that the Baby-Boomer generation and counterculture of the 1960s have had on today’s contemporary movements toward sustainable living. The photo will be used when the narrator talks about sustainable design.

    We appreciate any help you can provide and look forward to hearing from you,

    Alana Hoffman
    Research Assistant
    Candlewood Media Collective

  4. What’s with the Negative criticism!! This is a wonderful building. I don’t think anybody will complain about the city having one park. I have lived in Japan and it’s a wonderful country with huge cities and lots and lots of natural nature. Japan is heavily industrialized and one of the most densely populated countries in the world, but even so, 67% of the land is covered in forest. There is no other industrialized country do forests cover more than 50% of the land area. Can the U.S.A say the same!!! No, I don’t think so. In the US since 1600, 90% of the virgin forests that once covered much of the lower 48 states have been cleared away!

  5. It’s very impressive outside and lovely to climb, but it seemed to have more lights inside than a similar sized building with no trees. Maybe the architect forgot that trees have leaves (I blame University education – all virtual experiments and no real practical experience). Maybe if the windows had been placed with more thought it might have worked inside, like it certainly does outside.

  6. International Code Council is very interested in using the Fukuoka green building image in a Safe and Sustainable Display booth at our Annual Conference.

    Can you please let me know what the procedures are to use the photo

  7. Uh, let’s not forget that this is the country that’s insisting on it’s “right” to kill endangered cetaceans in the Antarctic. Sustainability and conservation embedded in the social fabric? You have got to be kidding, right? Most likely this was an attempt to stave off criticism (remarkably easy to do in Japan) for disrupting the green space to begin with.

  8. While this is nice, for what it is, I don’t believe it suggests that the Japanese have “sustainability and conservation embedded in the social fabric.” After all, the article notes that this design was conceived only because it mitigated the elimination of “last remaining green space in the city center.” What kind of insane urban anti-planning leaves a major city with only one notable green space to begin with? A healthy large city needs dozens of well-designed, usable public parks and urban gardens of various descriptions.

  9. Shane in Brisbane

    Grand architectural gestures to greenspace are nice enough…but….

    For a country with such poor food security (40% self sufficient) and nearly totally dependent on energy imports, you gotta wonder if any number of green sky sky scrapers are much more than window dressing the approaching economic/energetic/ecological melt down we all face….

  10. Preston,

    It’s far from crazy and there are people that do that for a living. I can’t remember which program it was on so unfortunately you’ll have to take my word for it.

  11. Richard Jones

    I wish every new building was designed on the principles of ecological sustainability and not just naked greed. How about it architects? Time is running out for the human race and it’s time to get real.

  12. Wow! After living in Japan for a while, I can honestly say they really have sustainability and conservation embedded in the social fabric. It’s crazy, but some business person could make a lot of money purely by exporting ideas and innovation from smart countries like Japan. This is an example of sustainable innovation at work.

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