Blog: “Shopping” In Tokyo – Part Two
By Kirsten Kiser, Editor-In-Chief, arcspace.com
Architectural as well as fashion destinations.
Visit the Ginza area on Sundays when the main street is closed to cars. All the big labels, Mikimoto, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Sony, and many more, have opened mega stores designed by starchitects.
The latest addition is Mikimoto’s pink Ginza 2 store, with its irregularly shaped windows, designed by Toyo Ito.
The facade of the Dior building, designed by Kumiko Inui, is illuminated by fiber optics at night. The outer skin, made of punctuated steel, reveals the illuminated inner skin.
The Hermes glass-brick mini skyscraper, by Renzo Piano, has a horse-and-rider statue on top of the building. The next door Sony Tower was designed by Yoshinobo Ashihara in 1966.
Providing a balanced mixture of traditional culture and new technology Ricardo Bofill’s Ginza Shiseido Building uses color, a red stucco facade and red lighting, to highlight important details and stand out from the competition.
The Chanel building, with its massive black glass and steel exterior, was designed by Peter Marino. The facade, symbolizing the iconic quilting, lights up at night to become a giant ever-changing billboard.
The renovation of the facade of an existing office building, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, uses bead-blasted stainless steel panels on the first three levels. The Apple brand is expressed both in the architecture and in the graphics.
Next to the Apple store is the “Opaque Ginza” store by Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA.
Do not miss Roppongi and the Roppongi Hills complex with its boutiques, Cinema complex, the Mori Art Museum, and a lot more.
More about the Mori Art Museum by Gluckman Mayner Architects in arcspace feature
Among others you will find the Louis Vuitton store by Jun Aoki, a monumental pixelized facade of parallel glass tubes in honeycomb formation that is both reflective and transparent. Also the “Issey Miyake by Naoki Takizawa” store designed by SANAA.
Do not miss a visit to Daikanyama, a short ride on the Toyoko Line, where Fumihilo Maki has been adding to his Hillside Terrace development for more than three decades. Today it is one of Tokyo’s hippest neighborhoods with lots of boutiques and cafes.
“Over the years many of Maki’s design intentions have remained constant from phase to phase. Public functions fill lower levels and private apartments upper ones. Building fronts line up with the street. Vegetation is preserved wherever possible. And courtyards, plazas and other outdoor spaces are designed with as much care as the buildings themselves.”
And finally, going back to the Ginza area, do catch at least one act in the Kabuki-za Theater. Originated in the 17th century it is one of Japan’s traditional entertainments.
Starting point: Park Hotel Tokyo