~ A showcase of the finest modern architectures

“Omotesando” in Tokyo literally means ‘the frontal approach’ to the Meiji Shrine. It is one of the liveliest and most sophisticated shopping district in Tokyo, where luxury brand boutiques along the avenue create the stylish atmosphere. 

 In the nearby Omotesando and Aoyama area, you can see many examples of the Tokyo's finest modern architectures, including PRADA, TOD's Omotesando, Dior, Louis Vuitton and more. Here're some of them.



 The building was built as a shopping center in 2007 and designed by MVRDV, Dutch architects.  It has restaurants and shops including the MOMA design store, Chanel and Bulgari.

 Upward external staircases circle the building which link the multiple terraces and shops. MVRDV intended to create a new shopping experience, the vertical promenade.  It was designed to look like a set of stacked boxes, rotating around a central axis of the nine-story building. The interior of the building is a light-filled space with large paneled windows which make a comfortable space.

Dior on the left, Gyre on the right


This elegant building built in 2003 was designed by the SANAA (Kazuyo Seno & Ryuei Nishizawa), Pritzker Prize Laureates.

The translucent exterior of the building on Omotesandō looks like a veiled screen. It looks even more beautiful at night with wonderful illumination effect as the stacked layers glow with different intensities. The building is surrounded by transparent glass walls set in front of a translucent wavy acrylic screen. 

In order to keep the building perfectly elegant, they eliminated a red triangle mark on the window to mark the emergency entrance, which is required under the Building Standard Law. Instead, they’ve installed drencher sprinklers for fire protection at significant cost.


 Louis Vuitton building on Omotesando Avenue, built in 2002, was designed by Jun Aoki.  His image of the building was piled trunks, which beautifully match with the Omotesando Avenue.  It is wrapped in layers of metal fabric, stainless panels and strips of glass. It has the art space, “Espace Louis Vuitton” on the 7th floor where you'll see contemporary arts in a glass wall space.

HUGO BOSS (Omotesando Keyaki Building) built in 2004

A very modern, eye-catching building for Hugo Boss was designed by Norihiko Dan. The structure resembles the shapes of the tall elm trees that stretch along the avenue. 17 V-shaped, concrete pillars are used for the building.

TOD’S OMOTESANDO BOUTIQUE This unique and elegant building built in 2004 was designed by Toyoo Ito, the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.

 Its thick concrete exterior walls with 200 frameless windows allow for high-ceilinged column-free interior spaces. The building was inspired by elm trees that stretch along the Omotesando Avenue for their motif. A crisscrossing geometric forms in concrete and glass is really impressive.

 PRADA Prada’s boutique in Aoyama designed by Herzog & de Meuron is one of the most magnificent urban landmarks. There are shopping floor, lounge and event space in the building. Built in 2003.

 Its striking 6-story geometric glass walls (840 glasses; Yen2 million/piece) generate faceted reflections. The structure is completely see-through so that you can see into the interior from all sides and can look out from inside at views of the city. Both inside and outside, you will see constantly changing pictures and perspectives of products and the street. The grid on the façade supports the ceiling, in conjunction with the vertical cores of the building.

 MIU MIU MIU MIU store, built in 2005, is located on the opposite side of the street of PRADA. Herzog & Meuron thought the Miyuki Street where this building is located is not beautiful nor elegant, but purely functional street. With this in mind, they had the following thoughts about the project: “A smaller, more intimate building. More like a home than a department store, more hidden than open, more understated than extravagant, more opaque than transparent.” 

It is simple and elegant, and looks like a jewelry box with its cover slightly open to mark the entrance.  The canopy has soft edges of the copper surfaces inside and the steel on the outside. It has sophisticated decor with brocade and other materials.

Omotesando Hills

Source: "Architecture Tour in Tokyo" by i Travel Squre.

Ref. materials: Malo Planning Inc.