Ao, AOYAMA Kinokunya store / アオビル / Aoビル by Sakakura Associates , 2009


This building is facing a more famous one, called Spiral by Fumihito Maki. It is located near the intersection between Koutto dori and Aoyama dori. (This round one you can see on the right side is Max Mara’s flag store). The Wikipedia called it AO building, (Aoビル) that’s where the title of this post come from. (Updatet post on the 31St, 2014- some shots of the back gardens from 4th floor and a nice view from the outdoor stairs)
I often crossed that street while I was going back and forward during my internship.

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It is wonderful without doubts. The funny thing is that I did not find the architect’s name. The most detailed information about it says it is a conjunction of two office’s works; one is the Sakakura Building Research Institute and the second is Hamano Research Institute (here the source od the information. Here a page about Hamano Yasuhiro full of details). Inside the building there’s a famous chain food market which it is called kinokunya. It is quite good and pricey of course. Upon their premises you can strolling through terraces and little corners with compelling view of the surroundings. We are in the Tokyo Design’s heart  here.

The most remarkable features of this unusual little skyscraper (25 floors) and tall building are the follows:

  • The transparent coating has an attractive and unpredictable path.
  • The led lights make a good spot during the night.
  • The interior is well refined and luxuruos without being spoiled.
  • The ultimate shape is concealed to the walkers by the angle’s facades.
  • It has a good flow between the tall and the low sides.
  • Unlike the majority of Tokyo buildings it has not got any back side. The pic below was shot from the back, 5th floor balcony.

updating 2015, this website assert the Sakakakura associates as the firm who projected the building.

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Here below some links of Japanese struck by its beauty.

First there is the official web site with a splendid picture.

1 where I took the night shot

2 seems a lady with many entries about architecture

3 says something about a boutique inside the building

4 you go on Facebook for the Buzz shop

5 nice blog full of pictures

6 has a very interesting gallery of nice construction (NEzu Museum by Kuma is included) in the heart of Aoyama.

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