Latitude/Longitude: 35.6661, 139.705
The stretch between Omotesando and Harajuku in Tokyo may be one of the most architecturally interesting areas in the world at present. Although he has a bigger project in the works nearby, Andos’ latest contribution to the district is an unusual origami-like structure fashioned from 16-mm steel plates. Although the site is relatively ample by Tokyo standards (352m2), part of the area is limited to steel-frame or wood construction not exceeding two stories. Furthermore, the lease for the site covers two areas, one for a ten-year period, and one for half that duration. The architect thus was called upon to concentrate most of the building on the ten-year plot.
Two stories plus a basement arranged as a continuous interior space, this design store has a total floor area of 469m2 and a footprint of 210m2. In the tradition of Tokyo’s that requires new buildings not to block more than a certain percentage of neighbors light, Ando crafted the form until he found the ideal solution. Just under ten meters tall, the dark steel building is painted with a zinc-based primer fluoropolymer paint. Just as the 4×4 House II will surprise certain people, so too will the hhstyle.com/casa building, but for different reasons. Ando shows here that he can be a virtuoso with materials other than concrete.
⇒ Architecture Guide to TOKYO