Friday, October 21, 2005

The End of Omotesando?

This, just across from the Esquisse building I talked about in an earlier post:
Mark Devlin has a scathing piece (archive) in today’s Metropolis attacking Mori Building and Tadao Ando for ruining his neighborhood. Omotesando Hills, built on the site of the tumbledown, rustic Dojunkai Apartments (1927), is finally taking shape.
One would think that on a street that purports to be Tokyo’s Champs Elysees, the architect, Tadao Ando, could have created a green space that interacts with the neighborhood. Instead, he has built an unbroken opaque flat glass wall stretching down the entire road and up to the Zelkova treetops… Perversely, the natural light that has been lost will be replaced by garish illuminated panels, creating what in effect will be a 250m-long television screen. The only respite from the wall is an angular notch that will lead to an inner spiral courtyard surrounded by shops.
I would agree that it is less ‘charming’ than the apartments, but hopefully Ando has created an interior space that can compensate for the disappointing exterior. I’ll reserve my judgement until the complex opens in January 2006.

Related Link : List of Stores in Omotesando Hills

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At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Pete Lawley said...

They were just about to knock down the Dojunkai apartments when I was getting ready to move back to Australia early last year. I hadn't seen (or even heard about) what was to replace it. I'll have to go visit it when I'm in Tokyo again next month.

This story reminds me of the new 'law school' at Tokyo University. Built right next to all the traditional buildings that make up the Faculties of Law and Letters, the new building is essentially just a glass box.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Gen Kanai said...

I've heard that Fujimamas is not going to renew their lease as the management doesn't like where Omotesando is going.

The old Omotesando that so many of us loved is basically gone.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Taro Akasaka said...

That's a shame. Do you know when they'll close?

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

I heard they had renewed the lease.


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