building is owned by the French luxury empire of Jean Louis Dumas and is
the corporate headquarters and retail store of Hermes Japan, a company
famous for its upscale hand bags and apparel.The 6,000 square meter (65,000 square feet) building contains
shopping space, workshops, offices, exhibition spaces and multimedia areas
all topped by a roof garden. A recess that divides the long facade in two
forms a courtyard which provides access to the subway two levels below.
in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo, one of the most exclusive and
expensive shopping areas in Japan, a block away from the colorful Sony
Building of the same proportions, designed by Ashihara Yoshinobu in 1966,
and amongst the circus of signs and neon lights, the thin, tall but
elegant building (45m long by 11m wide or 148ft long by 36ft wide) stands
out like a piece of well-crafted jewelry; classical yet innovative.Its facade, made entirely of specially designed and fabricated
glass block 45cm by 45cm (17in by 17in) each, is both aesthetically
pleasing and technologically innovative.
design intention of the architect, Renzo Piano, was that of a “magic
lantern”, inspired by traditional Japanese lanterns.In the daytime the translucent facade gives a hint of what is
beyond, the events and objects blurred by the thickness of the glass
block.At night the entire building
is glowing from within.On the
exterior, at eye level, the glass block facade is punctuated with clear
glass block which displays Hermes products beyond.
the facade wraps the corner, like a glass curtain, it changes to curved
quarter blocks.The entry to the
retail store is demarcated by plain clear glass.
glass curtain shuts out the constant buzz of the city through the acoustic
insulation of the glass block, creating a serene atmosphere on the
interior that is naturally lit through the semi transparency of the glass
building is technologically innovative not only in its facade construction
but also in the way that it applies traditional anti-seismic systems used
in Japanese temples to its modern day structure.The structure of the building consists of a flexible steel
structure, strategically articulated with visco-elastic dampers, from
which cantilevered floors span to support the suspended glass facade.During earthquakes the entire building can move according to
pre-defined displacements and any deformation is uniformly distributed
throughout the structure.
How to visit
is located at Ginza Station subway on the Hibiya, Marunouchi or Ginza Line
in central Tokyo.
store is open 11am - 7pm, closed Wednesday.
more information please telephone +81 3 3289 6811.