Blog: "Shopping" in Tokyo - Omotesando area
By Kirsten Kiser, Editor-In-Chief, arcspace.com
A city of dreams for anyone interested in architecture and design.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
At the other end there is Comme De Garsons by Future Systems, Tokujin Yoshioka's Issey Miyake stores, and Tadao Ando's Collezione.
And the two buildings by Jun Mitsui that, together with Herzog and de Meuron's Prada, create a strong identity for the area.
Off the main path you will find Fumihiko Maki's 1985 Spiral Building, the GA Gallery, by Makoto Suzuki, Naoto Fukasawa's +-0 Building.
And we found Nigo's BAPE, a Bathing Ape store....and waited in line to get in!
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