Roppongi Hills Street Furniture – Minato City, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Roppongi Hills Street Furniture

Minato City, Japan

This quirky collection of furniture also happens to be a public art installation.  

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A center of modern culture in Tokyo, the Roppongi Hills development complex is known for its collection of international public art, including a version of the famous “Maman” sculpture.

Keyakizaka Street, which runs through Roppongi Hills, is also decorated with 10 pieces of public art created by 13 artists from across the world, as part of the complex’s “Streetscape” project. Dubbed the “Street Furniture,” they add some spice to the scenery although few passengers stop to take a look at them, except to use them as benches.

One of the most notable pieces may be, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” by the late Shigeru Uchida, a red ribbon-like bench designed to look gravity-defying. “Day-Tripper” by Dutch design company Droog is also a striking piece. A large shocking-pink bench fused with tables and chairs, it represents “the different positions people assume on the street” according to one of the designers, Jurgen Bey.

“Evergreen!” by British-Israeli artist Ron Arad was woven out of bronze tubes in the shape of the infinity symbol. Ivy has grown over the sculpture over the years, as it was intended to be “part public bench, part planter.”

“Chair that disappears in the rain” is a glass chair created by world-famous Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka, which, as its name suggests, looks almost invisible on a rainy day.

Other works are “Motocross“ by Johanna Grawunder, “Moored Balloon“ by Patricia Urquiola, “Ripples” by Toyo Ito, “Park Bench“ by Jasper Morrison, “Isola Calma” by Ettore Sottsass, and ”Arch“ by Andrea Branzi.

Know Before You Go

The map of Roppongi Hills's public art and street furniture can be found on its official website.