Christian Dior Omotesando

5-9-11 Jingumae




Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA 2004


The Dior building is a showcase for Dior's designs, a fairly straightforward trapezoid box in Tokyo's center of fashion, Omotesando Avenue.


While the box itself is unexciting - though modulated by some variety in floor height, articulated by the bands around the building - the building's showpiece is its skin. The clean, square, outer skin of clear glass covers a second skin inside, of translucent acrylic. This gives the external facade the gentlest of hints at what is inside (while revealing nothing), and provides a glowing blank canvas for seasonal additions.


The disappointment is that inside the store the displays ignore the glazing and translucent skin entirely, so there is little continuity inside and out, and (unlike Herzog and de Meuron's Prada store down the street) the clever skin is more billboard than place-making. This reality is recognized by the architects. As Sejima puts it,

"Mr. Arnault is a very rich man, and he wants to sell as much Dior as possible. And we are not so interested in that. We divide exterior and interior. The exterior is very beautiful and behind the wall is their intention. We try to keep some conflict."




Simon Glynn 2008 (updated 2010)



How to visit


The Dior building is on the southwest side of Omotesando Avenue, between Omotesando and Meijijingumae subway stations (near Meijijingumae).


On the same street you may like to visit Ito's Tod's and Ando's Omotesando Hills. Further down the same street beyond Omotesando Crossing are also Herzog and de Meuron's Prada and Ando's Collezione.






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