Although the façade of the maison’s flagship store in Ginza appears as a deep multi-layered structure, in reality it is made of two layers of 5mm-thick modular aluminum panels. Characteristic star- and funnel-shaped elements are produced in five different sizes and clad the entire building. The LED lamps hidden behind the star panels are integrated in the funnel plates and further accentuate the three-dimensional impact of the building’s skin.
The innovative bumpy LV façade is a great low-tech device that is also capable of capturing and reflecting the ever-changing ambient light. Thanks to the relief shape and the pearl paint finish, the iconic new Ginza store is equally appealing during the day.
This breakthrough design developed by Jun Aoki for his regular client is the result of restrictions the architect had to follow during the renovation of an earlier project. During reconstruction, the steel structure that supported the previous building envelope had to be maintained such that the new skin could be no thinner than 24 cm and its weight had to stay below 40 kg/2.
This beautiful building illustrates why this is the eighth project Aoki has completed for the Louis Vuitton company, including one in Hong-Kong and New York City. Each provides a new and fresh interpretation of the classic chessboard pattern applied to the scale of architecture.
Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat