The 204-meter high rise building in Nishi-Shinjuku is not only special by its appearance, inside there are only schools and other educational institutions. The design of a cocoon facade suggests its use as a fashion school. The egg-shaped auditorium for 1,000 students is just next to the tower. The draft of the Cocoon Towers was created by Paul Noritaka Tange, the son of Kenzo Tange (died 2005). The Tower was completed in 2008.
Kokichi Mikimoto was the first to succeed in producing perfect cultured pearls. In 1899 he opened his first shop in Ginza. Toyo Ito's "Ginza 2" shop was built at the same location in 2005. The column-free building is supported by the façade, which consists of steel boxes poured out with concrete. The white painted steel facade has irregularly distributed, rounded openings.
Kumiko Inui built a very elegant building for the fashion house of Christian Dior in 2004. The facade of two layers of perforated aluminum sheets has a discreet pattern that reminds of Thonet chairs. In the colorful flashing Ginza district, this quiet building stands out more than any luminescent billboard.
Japanese architect Jun Mitsui realized this narrow building in 2008 for an investor from Hong Kong. The concept of the "Ice Cubes", white, light-acting glass cubes, which are interlocked, convinced the Swedish H + M to rent the building. The glass elements of the facade have been coated with a special ceramic, which makes the glass shimmer white. This makes the building light and slender.
None other than Tadao Ando has designed the subway station in Shibuya. The Egg shaped concept runs through all floors and is open upward. The trains arriving compress the air up and out of the station and produce a cool air flow. The futuristic station was opened of 2008.
The fashion store of Dior was built in 2004 by SANAA architects. The straight-lined cube looks rather simple during day time, but at night you can see the different heights of the storeys and layers of the façade. The architects of SANAA have also designed the New Museum in New York and the Design School in Essen.
The Italian luxury shoe store "Tod's" was built in 2004 by Toyo Ito. Ito has thrown a network of overlapping exposed concrete structures over the building, the open surfaces are completely glazed. As with many of Toyo Ito's buildings, his architecture is impressive at night, when the interior is brightly lit.
The Prada store designed by Herzog & de Meuron was opened in 2003. The hard, crystalline form is mitigated by the Glass Bubbles of the facade. The construction is thrown on the building like a network of diamonds, this creates an open space inside the shop.
Japan lauded an international architectural competition, which involved 395 architectural offices. Rafael Viñoly, a New York architect from Uruguay, finished 1 place. The aim of the award was to create an International Forum for Art and Culture, with a usable area of 144,000 square meters. Viñoly designed rectangular buildings and an oval glass hall connecting the other buildings. The huge glass hall is 210 m long and 57.5 m high. The building was completed in 1996.
The striking architecture of the Asahi brewery was built in 1989 by French designer Philippe Starck. The taller building serves as administration of the brewery and looks like a glass of beer with foam crown. The black house with the "Flame d'Or" is to represent the burning heart of Asahi.
The "Tower of the Winds" by Toyo Ito was built in 1986. The Tower with a hight of 21 m is made of perforated grey metallplate, which is quite unimpressive during daytime. At night the "Tower of Winds" starts to turn into a shining work of art, that reacts to wind and noise from the environment. The famous predecessor was the "Tower of the Winds" in Athens.
The NOA Building of 1974 combines two opposing materials into a sculptural building. An oval tower of dark bronze rises from a red brick base. Seiichi Shirai has studied history and philosophy in Berlin, he has adapted himself to architecture. Its buildings contradicts the general architectural theory.
Kisho Kurokawa created the 54 m high nakagin capsule tower in 1972. The 144 capsule apartments are plugged into 2 port structures with lifts and stairways. The principle of the "Plug-in City", was that residents should take their capsules at dock on any other port structure on the planet. In Europe Kurokawa built the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Kisho Kurokawa died 2007.
The National Museum of Western Art at Ueno Park was opened in 1959. The architect was Le Corbusier, who designed the museum together with Japanese architects. The modern building made of exposed concrete, has very good proportions in the interior.
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