Making the most of a small footprint within a crowded, competitive shopping zone, architect Stephan Jaklitsch married textural layers of materiality with a creative lighting strategy to catch the eye of tony passersby, and to create a subtle yet unique visibility for the American fashion designer Marc Jacobs’s Tokyo flagship.
In Omotesando, Tokyo’s fashion epicenter, only the most flamboyant of buildings stand out. Concentrated around the area’s famous tree-lined boulevard, they aggressively vie for attention. But instead of competing head-on with its eye-catching neighbors, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects’ Marc Jacobs boutique wows shoppers with understated elegance and bold lighting effects. While the building’s brightly lit, transparent base lures passersby, its translucent top beckons to the city.
Located on a side street between designer shops, including Prada and Cartier, and low-rise apartments, the site straddles commercial and residential zones. This condition legally limited the building to two above-ground stories, which inspired the boutique’s layered look. Stacked horizontally, three wide swaths of different materials — glass, terra-cotta tile, and punched anodized aluminum panels — define the exterior of the 2,800-square-foot boutique.