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Blog: "Shopping" in Tokyo - Omotesando area

November 06, 2006 /

Tokyo, Japan

By Kirsten Kiser, Editor-In-Chief, arcspace.com

A city of dreams for anyone interested in architecture and design.

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Photo: arcspace Zelkova Terrace by Tadao Ando

In the last decade Tokyo's shops, with their seductive facades and interiors designed by famous architects and designers, have become three dimensional billboards.

Omotesando, lined with Zelkova trees, is Tokyo's most exclusive shopping area.

The Zelkova Terrace shopping center designed by Tadao Ando, sits on the site of the former Dojunkai Apartments, built in 1927 as part of the city's reconstruction after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. The original multifamily housing block later became a mix of private homes, small shops and galleries.

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Photo: arcspace The Dojunkai Apartments (arcspace 2001 photo)

The new buildings, wrapped in Ando's signature smooth concrete and glass, is a mixture of residences and commercial use. Stretching for two blocks the mall contains a row of famous shops.

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Photo: arcspace  Zelkova Terrace by Tadao Ando

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Photo: arcspace Zelkova Terrace apartments by Tadao Ando

To keep the buildings in line with the Zelkova trees Ando has placed parking and additional shops below ground with a widening staircase running through the center of the sub-levels. The large central atrium allows for natural light to reach 3 stories below ground.

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Photo: arcspace

Across the street is the translucent Dior shop designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, Jun Aoki's silver-mesh Louis Vuitton store (read arcspace feature), and just down the street Tod's, with it's facade of criss-crossed concrete braces, designed by Toyo Ito (read arcspace feature).

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Photo: arcspace Dior by SANAA

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Photo: arcspace Dior by SANAA

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Photo: arcspace Louis Vuitton by Jun Aoki

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Photo: arcspace  Tod's by Toyo Ito
Then there is One Omotesando, Kengo Kuma's wood-slatted headquarters for LVMH, the luxury French retail conglomerate.

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Photo: arcspace  One Omotesando by Kengo Kuma

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Photo: arcspace One Omotesando by Kengo Kuma

At the other end there is Comme De Garsons by Future Systems, Tokujin Yoshioka's Issey Miyake stores, and Tadao Ando's Collezione.

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Photo: arcspace Comme De Garsons by Future Systems

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Photo: arcspace Comme De Garsons by Future Systems

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Photo: arcspace  Issey Miyake by Tokujin Yoshioka
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Photo: arcspace Collezione by Tadao Ando

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Photo: arcspace Collezione by Tadao Ando

And the two buildings by Jun Mitsui that, together with Herzog and de Meuron's Prada, create a strong identity for the area.

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Photo: arcspace Jun Mitsui buildings

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Photo: arcspace  Jun Mitsui building
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Photo: arcspace Jun Mitsui building

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Photo: arcspace Prada by Herzog and de Meuron

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Photo: arcspace Prada by Herzog and de Meuron

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Photo: arcspace Prada by Herzog and de Meuron

Off the main path you will find Fumihiko Maki's 1985 Spiral Building, the GA Gallery, by Makoto Suzuki, Naoto Fukasawa's +-0 Building.

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Photo: arcspace Spiral Building by Fumihiko Maki

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Photo: arcspace GA Gallery by Makoto Suzuki

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Photo: arcspace  Naoto Fukasawa's +-0 Building
Also SANAA's HH Style and Tadao Ando's HH Style Armani Casa.

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Photo: arcspace HH Style by SANAA

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Photo: arcspaceHH Style by SANAA

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Photo: arcspace HH Style Armani Casa by Tadao Ando

And we found Nigo's BAPE, a Bathing Ape store....and waited in line to get in!

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Photo: arcspace BAPE

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Photo: arcspace BAPE

All together this area is a design buff's dream.
We have no doubt that we have missed something, if you have any suggestions we would be happy to add them to our list..

Starting point: Park Hotel Tokyo

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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