Tokyo unveils its most anticipated architectural urban redevelopment project, Ginza Six.
April 20th, 2017
Tokyo’s most anticipated retail and urban redevelopment project in the heart of luxury shopping and business district Ginza, has just been unveiled. Called Ginza Six (a reference to its location in the 6th chome), it is the largest mixed-use retail facility and rooftop garden in the area, and an extravagant structure housing luxury retail stores, office space, and even a traditional Japanese performance art theatre.
With six floors located underground and 13 above covering a total site area of 9,000 square metres, it is Tokyo’s latest architectural feat helmed by a team of Japan’s most pivotal leaders in design, art and business.
Renowned Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi created a visually-commanding steel and brass-heavy exterior structure, and an arch-shaped glass facade, whilst lead interior designer Gwenael Nicolas of Tokyo-based design studio Curiosity Design coordinated a suitably complementary and contemporary interior.
The clear navigation and smooth transition between each floor is generated by the escalator access’s sweeping gold and geometric design, seen from all points of the lower building. The wide ceiling presents an origami-like cream and metallic-gold design, with folds opening at calculated degrees to form a roof surface penetrated by skylights from the above open-air space.
Intended as a mixed-use facility focusing on traditional Japanese culture, you can’t help but notice the subtle nods to traditional Japanese craft as you journey through the space. From the ceilings’ origami-like light-filled folds, to generously incorporated wood structures for store partitioning, and akari transparent walls that manipulate standard in-store harsh lighting to produce a softer ambiance.
Ginza Six also represents Tokyo’s growing public interest in contemporary art, with specially-commissioned renowned artworks on display throughout, each complementing the interior and design. Co-ordinated by Mori Art Museum Director Fumio Nanjo, two 12-metre-long ‘living’ walls are found in the open-ceiling space. The first as a digital-moving image painting by multidisciplinary technologist/artist collective teamLab, and the second a vertical garden by French botanist/artist Patrick Blanc, featuring unique vegetation particular to Japan.
But perhaps the most impressive element in the design is the central open-air space that goes up seven floors, allowing for natural sunlight into upper floor offices and even the retail facility’s floors below. Such generosity of space in Tokyo is a rarity, and almost a luxury in itself.
Ginza Six certainly expresses Japan’s current design capabilities and economic climate: stable and growing.
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