Tokyo, Japan - 2009
The competition brief specified a 100m high tower-museum on a tiny plot of land in Omotesando, Tokyo’s fashion district. Our team’s entry was an experiment trying to redefine some basic concepts of what constitutes a skyscraper and their influences on museology.
One of our most important decisions was to conceive a tower with such a minimal impact in general, and on the street level in particular, that it could pass unnoticed; especially if the main volume visually reflected its environment without emitting any lights at night.
Raising all the main functions to the highest permitted limit, we start- ed building our museum from the top down.
Therefore, the main access of the exhibition spaces was not on the street-level anymore, but at an altitude of 95m, on the Virtual Ground Floor (accessed via an express elevator after stopping at the Intermediate Access Point: Ticketing & Lockers).
While inside the express elevator as well as the museum itself, the visitors have no visual clues to the altitudes they are at: they first become aware of their elevation only upon their exit from the elevator at the Virtual Ground Floor/Japanese Garden (+95m).
Following the natural pull of gravity, the visitors descend through the blinded airtight museum and its floating exhibitions, and find themselves in the open again at the first balcony (+40m) followed by the open runways (+30m).
Arriving at the actual street level, visitors of the Tokyo Fashion Museum will have experienced a ride down the proverbial rabbit hole.
Public Spaces: 200m2
Permanent Exhibition Rooms: 1650m2
Temporary Exhibition Room: 300m2
Terraces or Urban Balconies: 100m2
Skybar + Japanese Garden: 100m2
Open-air Runway, Seating & Amenities: 190m2
Underground Parking/Loading/Storage: 340m2