The facade of criss-crossed concrete braces reinterprets the silhouettes of the elm trees lining the street.
The Tod’s building, located on Omotesando, the famous tree-lined avenue in Tokyo’s Aoyama district, is wrapped in a skin of criss-crossed concrete braces and glass that mimics the trees lining the street.
Light enters the building through the clear glass that fills the gaps between the concrete braces on the north side frontal facade. Opaque glass towards the south, facing rows of low private houses, brings additional daylight into the building.
The concrete braces also serve as space dividers inside the building where the natural materials, stone, wood and leather, reflect the quality of Tod’s leather goods.
The top floor serves as a boardroom with a terraced roof garden.
When the spaces between the braces are lit from within at night it creates the effect of silhouetted tree branches.
|Despite this apparent minimalism, Tod’s displays none of the sombreness and intellectual snobbery that typifies much contemporary retail architecture. There is a lightness of touch with Ito, a humour, and far greater sense of the drama of shopping.|
The branching design was based on Ito’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (2002) in London.
Toyo Ito was announced as the 2006 winner of one of architecture’s most prestigious prizes, the Royal Gold Medal.
Ito will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal at the RIBA on 15 February 2006.
|Toyo Ito has been an inspiration for generations of architects worldwide since his work started to receive international acclaim in the 1970s. For thirty years he has been a leading figure in architecture and I am delighted that he has accepted the Royal Gold Medal.|
|/Jack Pringle, RIBA President|