Page D1.1 . 11 December 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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    Availing Fashion

    by Mahoko Hoffman

    Designed by architect Jun Aoki, the new flagship store of the French fashion house Louis Vuitton on Tokyo's Omotesando Boulevard resembles a pile of trunks of different sizes and patterns, honoring Vuitton's origin as a trunk manufacturer. Examine the facade more closely, though, and you'll see an industrial-looking system of wire mesh curtains that create the fashionable effect.

    This building is now the largest Louis Vuitton store in the world. Its nine floors, including two below grade, total 35,000 square feet (3300 square meters). The lower four floors house the retail sales area; not open to the public are the upper floors with offices, event hall, VIP lounge, and penthouse.

    Aoki is perhaps best known for the smart, concise, and recognizable design of the Fukushima Lagoon Museum, for which he received the Architectural Institute of Japan's annual award in 1999. He previously developed the beautiful facade for the Vuitton store in Ginza.

    Mysterious Mesh

    The architect used the textured trunk motif to represent the variety of LV products. "The idea is clearly understandable from watching the facade and also can be sensed from the interior," said a spokesman from the designer's office.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Tokyo's new store for the French fashion house Louis Vuitton, designed by architect Jun Aoki.
    Photo: Jun Aoki and Associates

    ArchWeek Image

    The new Louis Vuitton store resembles a pile of trunks of different sizes and patterns.
    Photo: Mahoko Hoffmann


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