Latitude/Longitude: 35.6668, 139.709
Tod’s is a substantial L-shaped building that needed to make the most of its narrow facade on Omotesando Avenue, Tokyo’s most prestigious shopping street. Ito’s innovative structure does this through concrete and glass walls in which the tree-shaped concrete limbs are structural, and wrap around the six faces of the building. The visual effect is dramatic, and the retail facade is well used: the righthand concrete ”trunk” is actually round the corner of the building, giving as wide a glazed entry as any curtain wall would have done.
Ito’s Free Facade
The architectural power of the non-structural curtain wall in modern architecture was to create the “free facade”. With new technologies for concrete and glass construction, Ito has found a new freedom within a structural wall. As he claims, The Tod’s Omotesando Building is an ambitious project embodying concepts and techniques at the forefront of contemporary architecture. With this project I am striving to transcend that architectural Modernism that characterized the twentieth century.
⇒ Architecture Guide to TOKYO