Neil Barrett Store
Zaha Hadid Architects

November 17, 2008 /

Tokyo, Japan

neil_barrett_1.jpgPhoto: Virgile Simon Bertrand

The concept for the Neil Barrett flagship store in Tokyo is based on the minimal cut of the brand's fashion design and parallels its approach in using the same design parameters of fixed points, folding, pleating and cut outs.

Rather than defining a single room or space, our design creates a circular passage allowing the customer to experience the space in multiple ways and interpretations.

Furniture staged in key points throughout the store creates the spatial concept of a narrow enclosure changing to an open condition.

neil_barrett_2.jpgPhoto: Virgile Simon Bertrand

Photo: Virgile Simon Bertrand

neil_barrett_4.jpgPhoto: Virgile Simon Bertrand

In two formal elements the design shifts between architecture and sculpture, where a compact mass of surface layers unravel and fold to form the shelving display and seating. The emerging folds are used as display area for the NB accessory collection.

The concept of the store plays with the complementary characteristics and the related dualism between male and female. This is echoed in the furniture design on both floors through the formal language and tactile quality of the materials used.

The furniture piece on the ground floor is designed as a strong, masculine and dynamic form whilst the piece on the first floor enunciates femininity through more fluid contour lines. The first floor is designed in a more playful manner creating different zones that maintain the perspective view between them.

neil_barrett_5.jpgPhoto: Virgile Simon Bertrand

Photo: Virgile Simon Bertrand

neil_barrett_7.jpgPhoto: Virgile Simon Bertrand

neil_barrett_8.jpgPhoto: Virgile Simon Bertrand

This interplay between male and female is followed through in the general aesthetic concept , setting the furniture piece with a white smooth Corian finish against the raw fair faced concrete surface of the rest of the space. This is further accentuated through the contrast in colour and finish of the white matt furniture finish against a black glossy floor.

The final designs are shaped by 3D computer generated models. These are processed by the manufacturer using further software to thermoform the sheet Corian into the 3D designed surfaces. A series of these surfaces are fabricated with joints, ready to be assembled into larger sections on site.
Using the latest 3D modelling and CNC programming solutions, Zaha Hadid Architects were able to guarantee a very precise and automatic translation of the design into the built structure.

Drawing courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects
Ground Floor Plan


Drawing courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects
First Floor Plan


Drawing courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects is participating in the development of a new language for contemporary architecture. This new architectural language is marked by a new level of complexity in the deployment of curvelinear geometry. The central theme and agenda of this work is the ability of spatial compositions to cope with higher degrees of complexity and dynamism in the programmatic and institutional arrangements that need to be organized within ever more complex urban contexts.

Curvelinearity is an effective means to articulate complexity while at the same time increasing visual clarity by integrating multiple elements into a coherent form. The general challenge is to find modes of composition that can articulate complex arrangements and relationships without loosing out on legibility and the capacity to orient users.

Facts about Neil Barrett Store

Furniture Dimension

Ground floor:
H 3.00 m, W 2.60 m, L 15.80 m
Footprint: 2.00 m2
First floor:
H 2.80 m, W 3.70 m, L 8.40 m
Footprint: 2.20 m2
Fabrication: Cutting Edge (UK)
Surface Material Supply: DuPont

Zaha Hadid Architects


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architects:

Claudia Wulf
Elke Presser
Torsten Broeder

Photographed by Virgile Simon Bertrand


Neil Barrett

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

Copyright 1999 - 2015 arcspace all rights reserved.