When you walk in this part of Tokyo and you’re interested in architecture you may suddenly realise you’re not alone. More than once I crossed my walk with a group of student of architecture stopping in front of one of those flagship stores. Sometimes a teacher was with them explaining the “language” the buldings were spoken.
The fact is that here the Architecture Design found its maximum expression in terms of visibility and competitive astonishing solutions. It is undoubtable that few places in the world can have such density of interesting projects side by side (another one is also here in Tokyo and it is called Ginza). Among the others you can walk in front of buildings projected by Ando, Kuma, Ito, Jun Aoki , Dytham, F.Maki, and so on.
Let’s take this building of the store H&M built only 5 years ago (precisely in 2008) called the Ice Cubes designed by Jun Mitsui Architects (光井純アンドアソシエーツ建築設計). It is something that maybe elsewhere is questionable, meanwhile here is is full of sense. To understand completely the project a deep study seems to be necessary. It is obviously “catchy” but the same can be said for the worst of the Love Hotel in town as well.
In other words, its beauty remains somehow related to this unique environment where the designers are challenging each others year after year, more precisely week after week.
I mean it’s not beatiful in a absolute sense (and it is possible to say so for any building in the world?) but there are some choices about the “ice look like” coat that are really a rare thing to see. I would say it is another variation on the “transparent” character of the shops in this town, that makes it remarkable.
A sketch of the project, some data and details can be found in this japanese blog.
From another japanese blog here is another picture shooted before the sunset. A list of the architect works is here from his official website (you must see the Ginza De Beers flag store building please).
I had a chance to walk often in this area of Tokyo but I didn’t post all the pictures yet due to the high density I mentioned above, later on I am surely will.