It is always difficult to crystallize someone’s image, and all the more so when it comes to Giorgio Armani, one of the most popular man in the world. In the Tokyo’s flagship store, it was necessary to make his mood come to light alongside his own designer’s creativity; it was about recreating the atmosphere of the famous Italian fashion designer’s atelier as well as his aesthetics and image. In Tokyo, for the first time, the entirety of his production is contained within the same building. How to translate these elements into architecture? How to combine the idea of splendor with a sober elegance, the idea of modernity with the permanence of a style…… the Armani style? His image, the ceaseless research about material combined with luminous, transparent, delicate colours have been the elements from which our reflection has started. Our proposals have been multifarious. We have experimented new textures and shaped, sculpted, emptied, dematerialized spaces using light, the evanescence of an intimate perception born from the outside. The sophisticated image of Giorgio Armani’s brand, full of transparencies and intimacy, is countered by the immediacy and contemporaneity of the spaces dedicated to the Emporio, where white light cuts cleave the ambient while reflecting in it. The GA shops have been developed by offering the public “tiny drawing rooms” where various commodity groups are exposed. The “drawing rooms” are delimited by a carpet, clothes-hangers and a dividing panel, which is made by interposing a platinum coloured metal net between two clear glass layers. Floors and ceilings are characterized by a dark black colour and composed respectively of “Stone Italiana” reconstituted marble slabs tiles in Armani black and polished black steel plates. Each partition of the shop has been made by using a sheer system where several satin and/or clear glass layers have been paired with a platinum coloured metallic net stratum which has been scanned in some points to create a bamboo wall effect. The EA is characterized by continuous band walls, obtained throughcalandering, laser perforation and gloss black coating of steel plates. The graphic shape of their cut derives from an original elaboration of the well-known “Emporio Armani” symbol, which comes into view with less or more intensity on every backlit shop wall. Through the bending of the continuous band, unique meanders have been obtained where the merchandise is displayed. The restaurant recalls the motif of both the GA shops and the EA ones. The vertical partitions are attained through the same system characterizing the separating septums inside the GA shops: a platinum coloured metallic net between two clear glass layers. The ceilings and the floors are black as in the GA shops and feature the same properties. The black varnished wooden tables are adorned with a cavity containing a golden leaf under the surface and are surrounded by a series of “portals” made with steel layers in brushed gold finish, conceived as pierced shields according to a bamboo leaf-shaped motif. The continuous band walls of the privé are backlit and calandering steel made, featuring a leaf design (like in the restaurant portals), the bar and retro counter are in black fiberglass and the floor is black as in the restaurant. It is basically formed by two areas: the internal one, having the same style and similar technical details of the restaurant, and the external one, a special teak-floored dehors enclosing a little garden with bamboo vases and grass level lights. In the Ginza project the outside is a glass tower, perfectly harmonizing with the skyline. The lower part houses metal covered, golden coated, LED backlit bamboo trees. Luminous leaves with a variable intensity and colour depending on the moment of the day and season, are associated to these bamboos and they tenderly descend from the trees along their sides. On the upper floors, from the forth up to the eleventh, the façade no longer presents external elements; the bamboo design is carried on through a special curtain while the LED leaves are put behind the glasses. It has been like working under a microscope, surveying any possible little detail to find the right solution. Unlike the other projects where it’s rare to meet the client, Giorgio Armani is very present, always ready to discuss any minimum concept variation. His curiosity and cooperation during the creative process make him the ideal customer…..
CLIENT Gruppo Giorgio Armani
ARCHITECTS Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas
INTERIOR DESIGN Fuksas Design
CONTRACTOR Ishimaru & Nishimori
LIGTHING Sama Lighting
AREA 7,370 sq. m. n. floors 12
PROGRAM Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Armani Casa, Armani Privè, Armani Restaurant