Prada Store -2003
Herzog & de Meuron
“The Tokyo store is a strikingly unconventional 6-story glass crystal that is soft despite its sharp angles – as a result of its five-sided shape, the smooth curves throughout its interior, and its signature diamond-shaped glass panes, which vary between flat, concave and convex “bubbles”.
Jacques Herzog describes these glass panes as “an interactive optical device. Because some of the glass is curved, it seems to move as you walk around it. That creates awareness of both the merchandise and the city—there’s an intense dialogue between actors. Also, the grid brings a human scale to the architecture, like display windows. It’s almost old-fashioned.”
At Prada Aoyama the glass walls are not the usual transparent curtain-walling (as at Renzo Piano’s Maison Hermes, across town in the Ginza district), but a transparent, structural shell. Within, the structural cores and tubes morph seamlessly into elevators, stairs, fitting rooms and display shelves, giving a sense of continuous shopping space, very much integrated into the architecture”