Sat. 02.16.08

Editor:
Jean Snow
 
   
  Architecture  
 
Omotesando Hills
Posted on: Feb 26, 2006

Omotesando HillsThe wait is over, and the much anticipated opening of the Tadao Ando-designed Omotesando Hills shopping complex -- a sort of follow-up, in spirit and intent, to real-estate developper Minoru Mori's Roppongi Hills -- finally happened earlier this month, and a few weeks later, the huge crowds that showed up on opening day have yet to thin out. If you've been to Roppongi Hills, you'll know exactly what to expect: high-priced stores (even the Delphonics stationery store on the premises has gone upscale), long queues at the cafes and restaurants, and everything enveloped in an aura of theme park musicality (background music) and lighting. Although it does still come off as a mall, it's well worth a visit for the scale alone, and design-aficionados will find things of interest in the Idea Frames shop, the Taschen bookstore (until May only), the various galleries, and of course, the building itself.

+ Omotesando Hills

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Mikimoto Ginza 2 03.3562.3130
Posted on: Jan 7, 2006

Mikimoto Ginza 2The latest addition to Tokyo's recent string of successful partnering of renowned architects and luxury brands arrives in the shape of the Mikimoto Ginza 2 store, designed by Toyo Ito (Tod's Omotesando). The pink building offers up some irregularly shaped (and placed) windows, which certainly stands out (but in a good way). Oh, and you might actually be interested by the jewelry on sale within.

+ Mikimoto

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Tomihiro Museum 0277.95.6333
Posted on: Jul 5, 2005

Tomihiro MuseumAdmittedly, I'm not at all familiar with the Makoto Yokomizo designed Tomihiro Museum, but a look at the gallery posted recently by Miru-Kenchiku recently has me seriously considering a visit one of these days, all the way out in Gunma!

LINK: Tomihiro Museum (Miru-Kenchiku)
LINK: Tomihiro Museum
LINK: Makoto Yokomizo

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The G House 03.5414.3471
Posted on: Jul 5, 2005

The G HouseView offers up another fine gallery of pics, this time covering Jun Aoki's The G House, a residence in Tokyo. That same home was included in the feature Casa Brutus had on residential architecture earlier this year (mentioned here).

LINK: The G House (View)
LINK: Jun Aoki

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Juicy House 03.5774.6508
Posted on: Jun 4, 2005

Atelierbowwow Juicyhouse Jun 04View (the architectural photography library) has put up a nice gallery for Atelier Bow-Wow's Juicy House, located in Tokyo's Setagaya district (and yes, we do need to get a separate entry on Atelier Bow-Wow up as soon as possible -- in the meantime, read this great article on the duo from Icon magazine). The same site also hosts a gallery for the Keiichi Irie (Power Unit Studio) Y House -- see some more of his alphabet homes in this previous Moco Tokyo post.

LINK: Juicy House (at View)
LINK: Atelier Bow-Wow
LINK: Y House (at View)
LINK: Keiichi Irie

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KDDI Designing Studio
Posted on: Mar 1, 2005

KDDI Desiging StudioLaunching in early March, the KDDI Designing Studio in Harajuku looks like it will make for an interesting way to interact with the company's designs and concepts. KDDI's mobile phone brand, AU, is already at the forefront of innovation when it comes to stylish handsets -- as seen with the products that have come out of the AU Design Project -- and this new studio, that will be open to the public, seems like KDDI's way of keeping that lead. The top floor will host a branch of the Wired Cafe chain.

LINK: KDDI Designing Studio
LINK: KDDI
LINK: AU
LINK: AU Design Project

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Archilab 03.6406.6100
Posted on: Feb 22, 2005

archilab_feb_14.jpgTokyo's Mori Art Museum is currently featuring a fascinating tour of modern architecture with the exhibition "Archilab: New Experiments in Architecture, Art and the City" (until March 13). Time Asia offers a good rundown of the show, but if this leaves you wanting for more, let Japan Net Design take you on a photographic tour. If you happen to be in town though, take note of Art Tower Mito's retrospective exhibition "Archigram: Experimental Architecture 1961-1974," which makes a nice companion piece.

LINK: Mori Art Museum
LINK: Japan Design Net
LINK: Tower Art Mito

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mpac_small_jan_14The Mutsumoto Performing Arts Centre opened in Autumn of last year, and it's proven to be another beautiful creation from Toyo Ito (he's also behind the recently opened Tod's on Omotesando). Its purpose is to host various art and cultural activities, but it looks like it'll be worth a visit if just to walk through the premises.

LINK: Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre
LINK: Toyo Ito

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sanaa_museuminkanazawa_small_dec_22It's not in Tokyo, but the few hours by train that it will take you to get to the SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa) designed 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Kanazawa will probably be an escape worth embarking on.

LINK: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
LINK: SANAA

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Muji+Infill Yurakucho 0120.19.6404
Posted on: Nov 29, 2004

muji+infill_house_small_nov_29The Kazuhiko Namba designed Muji+Infill "Ki no Ie" house is now available for purchase. Head to the flagship Muji store in Yurakucho to have a look at it, inside and out. One step closer to having a Muji-only sustained life.

LINK: Muji
LINK: Muji+Infill
LINK: Muji Yurakucho

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Tod's
Posted on: Nov 2, 2004

tods_small_nov_02Although still under construction, if you walk along Omotesando you'll notice what is to become the new flagship store for the Tod's brand in Japan. Designed by architect Toyo Ito, it certainly looks very nice. Original plans call for completion before the end of the year.

LINK: Tod's
LINK: Toyo Ito

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Spiral 03.3498.1171
Posted on: Sep 22, 2004

spiral_building_sep_23.jpgWhen in Aoyama, it's always a good idea to see what's happening at the Spiral building. The architectural design of the building in itself is reason enough to warrant a visit. From the recessed cafe/bar/restaurant, to the carefully lighted "Garden," all the way to the spiral staircase that leads you up to the very attractive "Market" gift shop (offering a carefully selected range of designer goods and books). The main area surrounding the cafe constantly holds various exhibitions (which you can visit at no cost), and the hall on the 3rd floor has hosted an eclectic range of events. Spiral Records on the first floor offers a nicely curated selection of CDs and vinyls. CAY, in the basement, is host to live events, as well as being a restaurant, and the top floor finds the Top Hat lounge.

LINK: Spiral

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Prada Aoyama 03.6418.0400
Posted on: Sep 20, 2004

pradaaoyama_september_20.jpgOne of the big Omotesando store openings last year that garnered a lot of attention (among many others) is the Prada store in Aoyama, designed by Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron. Standing out with it's bulbous windows and overall appearance, it continues to be at the top of must-see shops for visitors to the city. Who cares about the things on sale inside, it's the architectural wowness of the store that has made it such an interesting addition to the Omotesando shopping district. For a closer look, you could do worse than ordering the gorgeous Prada Aoyama Tokyo book, edited by Herzog & De Meuron themselves.

DESIGNERS: Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron
LINK: Prada Aoyama Tokyo (Amazon)
LINK: Prada

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