tokyo: Serene to edgy
Japan is Home to some mighty fine design minds. discover their work in THE country’s capital
Tokyo-based Klein Dytham Architecture was responsible for the woven T-shaped, latticed facade that adorns the buildings of Daikanyama T-site. Consisting of a series of low-lying structures in the chic, leafy Shibuya district of Daikanyama, T-site is a space in which visitors can browse and buy books, music, films, stationery, and more. There’s also a library, the Ivy Place restaurant and a pet-care service.
tokyo WHISKY library
Just off Aoyama-dori, this chic whisky bar was designed around the idea of “whisky-musicserendipity.” Whisky takes the stage in this space, with more than 1,000 bottles of the spirit lining the double-height walls, giving the bar the feel of a private library. Brick walls, vintage-style chandeliers, and leather banquettes set the tone; this feels like an old boys’ club. Whether or not you’re a whisky lover, you’re bound to appreciate the classically comfortable atmosphere.
a tes Souhaits! glace et chocolat
Oki Sato of design studio Nendo is one of Japan’s most famous exports. He’s wowed people the world over with his thoughtful creations, designed to conjure a smile and a sense of wonder at the same time. This Kichijoji dessert store may be small, but it’s a perfect example of Sato’s design ethos, and a great way to see his designs in the flesh.
Softly curving brick walls in subdued shades of chocolate, cappuccino, almond, and hazelnut resemble slices of ice-cream cake, and they slowly melt towards the back of the store, drawing customers in. Then there’s the geometric tiled floor, a modern take on traditional Japanese ceramic patterns. nendo.jp
HOMME Plissé issey Miyake Store Tokyo has long been home to boutiques that are design sights in themselves, and this Issey Miyake store in Daikanyama is no exception. Designed by Naoto Fukasawa, the store takes the geometry of its concrete exterior and turns it into something visually striking. Long, thin, black metal beams hang down from the ceiling in crisscrossing lines, forming geometric shapes overhead. These beams also serve as clothes hangers, allowing Issey Miyake’s colourful pleated designs to float off the floor, which is clad in concrete and echoes the building’s external walls.
nezu Museum With its massive, angular roof, and clean lines, the Nezu Museum sits quietly just off Omotesando, a hidden haven away from the nearby streets and shops. A garden and leafy trees surround the museum, and these, along with the bamboo tree-lined pathway into the museum, are an integral part of the experience created by acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma. By separating outside from inside via floorto-ceiling sheets of glass, museum-goers are connected to the greenery around them even while perusing the building’s vast collection of pre-modern Asian art. nezu-muse.or.jp
Hoshinoya tokyo Designed by Rie Azuma of Azuma Architect & Associates, this hotel redefines the ryokan, bringing the concept of the traditional Japanese inn to this most modern of cities. Located in Otemachi, one of Tokyo’s key financial districts, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a serene retreat from the world, hidden behind a latticed façade that calls to mind the designs printed on kimonos. Tatami mats line every floor in the guest areas, wood screens are everywhere, and furnishings are pared-down and modern.
The outdoor bath, fed by the alkaline waters of a local hot spring, is a sight in itself, as are the public outdoor areas, landscaped by Hiroki Hasegawa. Here, exquisitely sculpted trees, artisan-made furniture, and objects in wood and ceramic make for a tranquil urban space.
treat yourself from top Hoshinoya Tokyo is a vertical ryokan in the middle of the capital; A Tes Souhaits! distills Oki Sato’s design ethos
design by Japan from top The intricate latticework of Daikanyama T-site; Nezu Museum brings outdoors and indoors together; Tokyo Whisky Library exudes old-school cool