Louis Vuitton Ginza Namiki / Jun Aoki & Associates + Peter Marino Architect
Text description provided by the architects. With great anticipation, Louis Vuitton announces the arrival of Louis Vuitton Ginza Namiki to the Ginza district of Tokyo. The store features an ambitious transformation of an existing location. Reimagined as an aesthetic dialogue between virtuous architects, Jun Aoki and Peter Marino, a completely new naturalistic tower rises, inspiring awe, both outside and inside.
From the same corner location, occupied by Louis Vuitton since 1981, the building’s very modern look interprets water reflections as a material phenomenon. Poetic but playful; shiny and rhythmic. Once a peninsula that stretched into Tokyo Bay, this evocation of water is expressed in smooth and undulating surfaces, from the glass facade that conveys changing colors to the staircase and accessories. With four floors, the retail offering is complemented by a permanent pop-up space for seasonal animations for newcomers and an upper level dedicated to private lounges. The store experience culminates in Le Café V, where celebrity chef Yosuke Suga collaborates with the house for the second time, further developing flavors for Le Chocolat V, the first line of Louis Vuitton chocolates that will make its world debut here at the end. of April.
Reflecting Ginza – Composed of two layers of glass, Jun Aoki’s façade is both monolithic and infused with fluidity: its representation of a “pillar of water.” Virtually seamless, the outer panes curl and wave; its three-dimensional surface enhanced by dichroic glass that produces infinite color variations. At street level, the building reflects the dynamism of Ginza; higher up, the neighboring towers become undulating apparitions, while a celestial landscape runs through the glass, marking the passage of each day.
At night, the glowing reflections that dance around the base fade upward, giving the illusion of immateriality. Meanwhile, a see-through, double-height opening curves around the street corner as the main perspective into the store with room to place the Louis Vuitton signature window displays.
Always current – Once inside, Peter Marino’s design emphasizes the building’s organic aesthetic with a central staircase that unfolds like a ribbon of sculpted oak lined with glass. A second staircase, located towards the rear of the store, is framed by a four-story wall that reinterprets Kimiko Fujimura’s painting Wave Blue Line (1977) in artistic plaster applications. Continuing with the metaphor of water, the circulation becomes architectural and spatial. As customers move through the store, they will notice curved counters and ceiling panels that contribute to the sense of flow. Rounded furniture in light wood and glass nuances by Morten Stenbaek or Isamu Noguchi add to this effect. Even the elevator evokes the sensation of water and sky, with the rippled metal surface multiplied by mirrors playing like an endless horizon.
Browsing the store – Of the seven floors, four are dedicated to retail. The main level comprises women’s leather goods, watches and jewelry, and the permanent pop-up space, with additional women’s leather goods, as well as accessories, travel and fragrances located on the second floor. The universe of women, including shoes and ready-to-wear, spans the third floor; while directly above on the fourth floor is the entire universe of men. The VIC and VIP rooms are located on the sixth floor; and on the upper level are Le Café V and Le Chocolat V, Louis Vuitton’s debut as a chocolatier.
An improved offer – In addition to displaying a full range of the latest products, the store will be a destination for exclusive pieces, starting with a limited reissue of Rei Kawakubo’s 2014 Celebrating Monogram collaboration bag in leather. The legendary designer’s first association with Louis Vuitton dates back to 2008, when she created six custom bags in Monogram canvas, having admired the house’s approach to craftsmanship and savoir-faire since opening its first Japan location in 1978. Among the initial selection of exclusive pieces will be the LV Ollie men’s sneaker adorned with embroidery and pearls; a fully embroidered Monogram sequin dress; and a slim Tambour watch exquisitely accented with blue and purple sequins. Bags that can only be found at Ginza Namiki include the Capucines BB in a timeless chord of gray canvas and navy blue leather, and the Boîte Pharmacie Monogram carry-on trunk designed in collaboration with kabuki actor, Ebizo Ichikawa XI.
Chromatic energy – From acid-toned furniture by Pierre Paulin and Stefan Leo to works by Ed Moses, Vik Muniz and Zhang He, color infuses the store with vitality. The seating arrangements, design objects, rugs, and art change through different expressive hues: an impressionist scheme of pink, orange on the women’s floor, saturated shades of red, turquoise, and lime on the women’s floor. the men; and a mix of muted and pop accents in the private rooms that have been conceived with a modular design for larger or more intimate settings. With additional abstract art from artists such as Kimiko Fujimura, Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, and Peter Dayton, color acts as an uplifting and inspiring subject that takes many forms.