New York firm Stephan Jaklitsch Architects (SJA) has completed the latest jewel box on Tokyo‘s premiere shopping street, the Omotesando-dori in the Aoyama shopping district. The richly textured Marc Jacobs flagship store is comprised of three masses each of glass, stone, and perforated metal, the latter two appearing to float above the sidewalk.
Defining the 2,800 square foot, three-story store is its tripartite massing depicting void, rock, and lantern. Of the three, the lantern top level is visually most dynamic, especially when backlit at night, while the middle rock level, clad in rough terra-cotta pieces, offers maximum texture. SJA wanted to minimize visual interruption on the sidewalk level to blur interior and exterior spaces.
While the building contains three floors, the striated levels can be deceiving as one level is actually underground. Because of zoning limiting building height to two floors above grade, the metal paneled lantern level serves as a visual element, or kosakubutsu, giving the building extra mass and its defining element to differentiate the building from its rather distinguished neighbors including Herzog & de Meuron’s Prada store across the street. The project was recently awarded an Award of Excellence from the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects.