Marc Jacobs in Tokyo 11.08.11

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Marc Jacobs has a new home in Tokyo. Located in the Aoyama shopping district, this flagship store for the Marc Jacobs Collection is the first to be built from the ground up specifically for the fashion label.

Freed from the constraints of adapting an existing structure, New York-based Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects has created a building distinctive in the fact that its facade is split into three very different zones, dubbed "the void, "the rock" and "the lantern".

At ground level, a fully glazed facade – "the void" – provides a shop window for the label's latest accessories. Floating above this transparent base is a far heavier treatment of layered black terracotta. Nicknamed "the rock" by Jaklitsch/Gardner, it envelops Jacobs' ready-to-wear collection. The facade is punched through by a picture window in its south elevation, to provide a glimpse of the treasures within.

Because of zoning restrictions, the occupiable height is limited to two storeys. The two sales floors, plus a small sales area and storage in the basement, total about 260sq m. However, Jaklitsch/Gardner was keen to make an architectural impact and so employed the Japanese building element known as a kosakubutsu to create the appearance of a building twice the height.

This is the facade's "lantern" – essentially an empty box sitting on top of the building. A steel frame supports perforated aluminium panels, which are illuminated from behind. During the day the lantern has a solid appearance, its perforated skin subtly changing shade in response to the weather. At night, however, the building comes alive. Glowing from within, the elongated honeycomb pattern of the lantern creates a wave-like effect that changes with each step of passers-by.

The building is the latest addition to Tokyo's Omotesando-dori, an avenue lined with global fashion houses designed by architects such as Toyo Ito, SANAA and Herzog & de Meuron (whose Prada store is on the left of the above photograph). Jaklitsch/Gardner's design recently received an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects.

 

Image

Liao Yusheng

 

Words

Will Jones

quotes story

Glowing from within, the elongated honeycomb pattern of the lantern creates a wave-like effect that changes with each step of passers-by

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