Tag Archives: tokyo

topshop: Marc Jacobs brings a little something extra to Tokyo

10 Apr

Tokyo has long been known as a retailing haven, not least for the mega-cutting edge technology and high spec finish most retailers adhere to when opening there – the world (well, ok, perhaps just us) was agog at the new Herzog and De Meuron store for Prada, and it seems like they have a young upstart facing them across the street too . . .

Marc Jacobs has opened literally across the street in our image, above, you can see the Prada store on the left, and Marc Jacobs glowing on the right.

Designed by Stephan Jaklitsch Architects, does he have a store that embodies his love of everything Japanese aesthetics.   The 2,800-square-foot space, which sits on a side street in the ritzy but charming Tokyo neighborhood of Aoyama, is a retail spin on the Japanese obsession with packaging: Although the interior looks like some other Marc Jacobs spaces, with sleek fixtures displaying brocade skirts and bottles of Bang, outside it’s a visual feast. The building’s mix of the traditional and the unorthodox—including striated levels topped off with a ghost wall, known as a kosakubutsu in Japanese—is at home on a block that includes a giant Prada store and a gemlike Cartier shop (although neither can boast an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects, which the Marc Jacobs store received this past summer).


architecture: Gehry does Miami proud.

4 Apr

Gehry is a name that has become synonymous with cutting edge architecture that not only defines the purpose of the building it represents, it becomes so iconic that is creates a destination in its own right, something so attention grabbing people throng to see the external long before they give a damn about the internal.  All change then for the latest turn by Gehry in Miami for the New World Symphony Concert Hall.

Outside the building looks very un-gehry like without the signature swoops and wooshes of other iconic structures of his, like the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Walt Disney concert hall in Los Angeles for example, but on closer inspection the building feels very Gehry.

High above the entrance, the canopy sweeps and swirls as good as any other Gehry design beckoning you inside, and once you are, well, it’s there that the real Gehry magic starts to happen . . . The architects carved their customary swoops, scoops and warped surfaces in service to the sound, with today’s go-to acoustician, Yasuhisa Toyota, of Tokyo-based Nagata Acoustics. The result is a clarity and immediacy found only in the best seats of standard concert halls typically three times the size.

The New World really comes alive at night though when that very un-Gehry like exterior comes alive.  The NWS will project simulcasts of its concerts on an outside wall of the building, free for audiences lounging in a $13 million park the city built in front, in a park designed by Dutch landscape architect West 8.

This is a party the whole of Miami has been invited to join, and whilst the building won’t excite in the same purist way that Bilbao did – this one is sure to weave itself into the very heart of Miami in a way that its Iberian counterpart can only dream of . . .


7 days 1 week: radiation rains on Tokyo, detected over Iceland & London.

23 Mar

Following our earlier appeal many of you wrote in support of our friends in Japan.  Heavy set clouds moved across Japan raining heavy with radiation – sweeping across Tokyo, and the rest of the country infecting crops and making towns and cities uninhabitable.  Radiation from the stricken nuclear plant has now been detected as far away as Iceland, and was expected to reach London today.

Please read  our earlier post here and do all you can to help the red cross help those affected by the continuing fallout following the devastating effects of the Earthquake and Tsunami.



topshop: Uniqlo – proving that basics can be sexy!

13 Mar

For the latest in our ‘topshop’ series, we head to Tokyo, land of the rising sun, and home of Japanese MEGA-brand Uniqlo for what must be the sexiest basics store ever seen.

Tokyo based design company Curiosity have worked magic on a store interior that looks as though it lends itself more to an art gallery or set from Disney sci-fi epic Tron!  The sleek lines, mirrored surfaces, and light backed panels and display areas nly serve to mke their signature brights really pop.  This really is one store that knows how to make the product king!



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