Image is everything, they say, and there’s no better example of that than in retail. It’s particularly important when a company opens an entire store based on its brand that the products are displayed to their best advantage. That was the case for Coach, the designer accessories company, and its new flagship store in Tokyo. Enter Shohei Shigematsu at OMA (New York) and the result was the use of glass in a way that highlights the importance of product display.
The building opened in early April and features a facade made of 210 custom stainless steel frames with low iron laminated glass units, which were installed by local glazing contractor, Obayashi, confirmed Michael Ludvik of M.Ludvik Engineering, which provided facade consulting on the project. The pieces create a herring bone pattern that allows the outer envelope to also provide a display opportunity for the store. Each block is the size needed to hold any of the company’s line of products, turning the facade itself into a display case while “simultaneously liberating floor space,” as an OMA press release explains.
The design was as deliberate as the function the blocks were needed to provide.
“The design concept was rooted in the white brick pattern in classic Coach stores but expressed at large scale in glass. There was a design notion that the bricks are practically off the shelf elements. Of course they were difficult to make custom items, but the idea of production was intact,” said Ludvik.
The building also contains a “‘floating’ tower of 105 illuminated acrylic units that encase the store’s central stair” that allows for additional product display area.