Tod's Omotesando Building

5-1-15 Jingumae




Toyo Ito 2004


Tod's is a substantial L-shaped building that needed to make the most of its narrow facade on Omotesando Avenue, Tokyo's most prestigious shopping street. Ito's innovative structure does this through concrete and glass walls in which the tree-shaped concrete limbs are structural, and wrap around the six faces of the building. The visual effect is dramatic, and the retail facade is well used: the righthand concrete 'trunk' is actually round the corner of the building, giving as wide a glazed entry as any curtain wall would have done.



The shape of the concrete limbs is derived from the zelkova trees that line Omotseando Avenue.


The architectural power of the non-structural curtain wall in modern architecture was to create the "free facade". With new technologies for concrete and glass construction, Ito has found a new freedom within a structural wall. As he claims,


"The Tod's Omotesando Building is an ambitious project embodying concepts and techniques at the forefront of contemporary architecture. With this project I am striving to transcend that architectural Modernism that characterized the twentieth century."



Simon Glynn 2008; updated 2011



How to visit


The Tod's building is on the southwest side of Omotesando Avenue, between Omotesando and Meijijingumae subway stations.


It is open 11am to 8pm seven days a week. For more information please visit (though no information on the building there) or call +81 3 6419 2055.


On the same street you may like to visit SANAA's Dior 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.





Books and other web sites


For more information on contemporary buildings by major a rchitects to visit in Japan, a helpful list (including schematic map of buildigns in the Omotesando area) is provided by the Japan National Tourist Organization.


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