The Playhouse is a full renovation project of a three storey building located in the busy fashion district of Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan. The ground and first floor accommodate a number of British fashion brands, and the second floor houses a hall designated to a weddings and events planning company. Our team was challenged with envisioning a new spatial model of the post-COVID store by reconsidering the existing functions of brick and mortar retail.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalization in our societies to a remarkable degree. What was already an ongoing movement is rapidly indicating a future in which the shopping experience will be increasingly moved to the virtual world. If the act of purchasing is preferred online, we questioned what the physical shop could offer once it is liberated from excessive display and storage space.
By considering the whole building as an alternative form of theatre, the team designed transformable architectural elements that would enable a wide range of events to take place throughout the building. The intention was to reimagine the shop from being a conventional place where one simply buys goods to a place where one could learn, discover and experience the cultures related to the brands on display.
Rotating walls act as pop-up shops for different British fashion brands, who rent them month to month and assess product popularity through recorded customer data. This provides businesses with a short term opportunity to understand how to develop their approach within the Japanese market. The flexibility that is achieved through the rotating functions additionally allow for spaces that can host a multitude of programs, such as markets, fashion shows and workshops, which connect to the spirit of the shop.
The entrance atrium is designed as a fly tower with a movable curtain that creates a temporary stage for events accommodating up to 50 people. The foyer is centrally located on the first floor, and shapes a display area for products that belong to the shop’s permanent brands, as it leads guests to the main hall on the second floor. The hall is composed of several textiles that enable the space to fluctuate in size in order to host events of differing scales.
The Playhouse challenges the conventional spatial model of shops that favours display and transaction by creating performative spaces to coexist with products on display. We envisage that the blend of programmes integrated into the physical design could provide a sustainable business and cultural model for the future of shopping.
该项目由总部位于伦敦的建筑设计事务所PAN- PROJECTS与总部位于东京的工作室HARUKI Oku Design合作完成。
The project was completed by London-based architectural design office PAN- PROJECTS, in collaboration with Tokyo-based studio Haruki Oku Design.
Project name: The Playhouse
Architecture Firms: Haruki Oku Design + PAN- PROJECTS
PAN- PROJECTS: https://pan-projects.com/
Haruki Oku Design: https://harukiokuarchitects.com/
Contact e-mail: email@example.com
Architecture Firm Instagram:
PAN- PROJECTS: https://www.instagram.com/pan_projects/
Haruki Oku Design: https://www.instagram.com/harukioku0915/
Completion Year: October, 2020
Gross Built Area: 1356m2
Project location: Tokyo, Japan (5 Chome-8-5 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062)
Photo credits: Kenji Seo
Photographer’s website: https://kenjiseo.com/
Photographer’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seokenji/?hl=en
Photo credits: Crazy, Inc.
Photo credits: Haruki Oku Design + PAN- PROJECTS