Swiss architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron has completed an “understated” box-like shop for Italian fashion brand Miu Miu in Tokyo to contrast with the firm’s all-glass Prada store across the street (+ slideshow).
Herzog & de Meuron designed the 720-metre-square building on Miyuki Street in Tokyo’s Aoyama District, close to the famous Omotesando Street that is home to a string of luxury fashion stores designed by renowned architects.
“Contrary to expectations for a site that is home to so many luxury brands, Miyuki Street in Aoyama Tokyo is not particularly beautiful or elegant,” said the architects. “The architecture is heterogeneous – a hodgepodge of freestanding buildings of different heights and shapes, with neither historical tradition nor common standards.”
Zoning regulations stipulated a short structure, so the architects decided to create a small opaque box-like structure that would contrast with the architects’ seminal all-glass store for Prada – the Italian fashion house that owns Miu Miu.
The steel facade of the two-storey Miu Miu building is angled away from the glass wall underneath “as if the volume had been sliced open with a big knife”, to allow glimpses of the interior to passers-by.
The other side of the sharp-edged steel sheeting is clad with textured copper that curves at the corners.
Shoppers enter beneath the steel canopy into the lower level of the shop, which the architects intended to look more like a “spacious and comfortable home” than a retail space.
“We used the following thoughts to channel our ideas: more like a home than a department store, more hidden than open, more understated than extravagant, more opaque than transparent,” said Herzog & de Meuron.
Another angled copper wall is used on the opposite side of the store, extending the full height of the building and providing a backdrop for displayed accessories.
A single-flight staircase orientated parallel to the main facade features glass banisters topped with copper rails.
Related story: SANAA’s Dior Omotesando store receives Peter Marino refit
Other internal walls are covered with a brocade fabric produced in subtly different shades of green.
The pattern is also used to upholster the rounded seats and stools found around the interior, in both green and a contrasting bright red hue that covers shelves.
Called Miu Miu after Miuccia Prada’s nickname, the brand was set up in 1993 as a platform for the fashion designer’s explorations beyond her Prada line.
Herzog & de Meuron completed the Prada Aoyama store 12 years ago and the building has since become a popular tourist destination.
“At that time, we were interested in counteracting the situation – on one hand, by placing a small plaza to the side of the building, and on the other, by making the structure completely see-through so that one can see into the interior from all sides and can also look out from inside at specifically targeted views of the city,” said the architects.
The Prada group was keen to place the new Miu Miu store in the same vicinity, close to other high-profile fashion-architecture collaborations that include buildings for Dior by SANAA, Coach by OMA, and Tod’s by Toyo Ito.
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store in Tokyo’s Aoyama district appeared first on Dezeen.