mAAch ecute, a mixed-use commercial facility in Kanda, might seem like a normal, old brick and cement structure from the outside, but what lies within its walls is a long history waiting to be told.
Considered to be one of Tokyo’s oldest stations, Manseibashi Station opened in 1912 with a façade patterned after Amsterdam’s Central Station. The subsequent opening of the nearby Akihabara Station in 1925 made it redundant, forcing the management to shut it down in 1943. Until now, though, the upper level train tracks are still in use.
In the autumn of 2013, as a collaboration between the Architecture Office “Mikan”, East Japan Railway Company, and JR East Design Corporation: JRed, Manseibashi Station was reopened to the public after being boarded up for 70 years. The plan is to create a space that would propel Kanda back to its former glory.
Its ground floor façade was preserved and refurbished, adding floor-to-ceiling glass windows to give a full view of the Kanda River. What used to be the station’s main platform on the upper floor is now a glass-enclosed café and terrace. This design wonder is now home to 11 independent cafés and restaurants, as well as an open-concept artisan retail arcade. With the unique idea coupled with a revitalization plan, mAAch ecute received the “Good Design Award Best 100” months after its opening.
People finding their way to mAAch ecute would hear locals still refering to the place as the old Manseibashi Station. With more efforts geared towards leveraging its history in publicizing mAAch ecute, Kanda may just stand a chance against the busy Akihabara for visitors seeking refuge from the crowd.
〒101-0041 1-25-4, Kandasudacho,