Prada Store, Tokyo by Herzog & de Meuron

Exterior:

– the tessilating rhombus design acts as the structural support allowing an open plan (although the wall encasing the staircase seems to able to bare loads too? open plan or not, H&dM have still managed to balance continuity between interior and exterior, creating a 3D experience).

– simple wrapping of the exterior in diagonal lines. Prada itself is best known for its minimal (but expensive) style. The building appears as a gem set in the street with a beguiling quality as standard forms in architecture (entrances, windows) become unrecognizeable making the building appear more as sculpture. This symbolism work far more elegantly than any billboard could do to advertise the essence of the building.

– the pattern seems oversized to contain such a large building (6 storeys), what is created is a link between the Prada design and architecture which ends in a building that takes lessons from both schools of thought. The lines, which dwarf the building, create a less imposing, more casual, store.

– the store’s outline may seem random at first but the skewed lines relate to the lines of the structural rhombus shapes (a beautiful harmony between skin and shape). The one irregular skewed line on one of the building’s corners closes its height to stop it dominating the skyline. Not only does this put it in context with the comparatively relaxed atmosphere of Omote Sando, it is also a nice little quirk which adds a bit of intrigue.

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image courtesy of Liao Yusheng.

– The windows set into the frame are a mixture of, convex, concave and flat, breaking up the monotomy of tessalating forms. The dressing rooms are covered in a translucent glass for privacy. The way light is caught and reflected creates varying experiences outside and close up to the store. What would otherwise be a cold, office block façade is turned into something much more visually interesting. It would be useful to see firsthand exactly how these distorted glass panes work and what sort of glare (if any) they may create.

One of my favourite touches is the recognition given to the architects collaboration with Prada underneath the store’s name. It’s very rare to see this on any building and really highlights the crossovers between different aspects in design in general.

image courtesy of Liao Yusheng. Visit www.figure-ground.com for more beautiful travel photography

image courtesy of Liao Yusheng. Visit http://www.figure-ground.com for more beautiful travel photography.

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---plan. http://architectook.net/prada-tokyo/ for more detail---

//architectook.net/prada-tokyo/ for more detail.

---cross section. http://architectook.net/prada-tokyo/ for more detail---

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2 Responses to “Prada Store, Tokyo by Herzog & de Meuron”

  1. Matt George Says:

    The photo is great especially with all the blue and reflection. Nice capture! 🙂

  2. torn1 Says:

    yeah, if you look at figure-ground.com you can find some really beautiful shots. Unfortunately none of these are my own photos, that’s my fault for not saying so, I’ll go back and edit to give credit where its due.

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