Prada Building, Omotesando
One of Tokyo's iconic landmarks, where "structure, space, and façade form a single unit."
Photography - Ben Hosking
Designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the striking 6-story building for Italian luxury house Prada is found in the Aoyama district of Tokyo, amongst numerous luxury boutiques and stores.
With individual structural transparent slightly-green glass shells forming the entire exterior, the structure gleans during the day and glimmers at night from the interior lighting providing a bright illumination. The diamond-like rhombus-shaped glass panels form protruding and convex ‘bubbles’ described by the architects are “comparable to a contact lens resting on the pupil of an eye.”
Providing a continuous and smooth navigation between the floors and elevators, the building encourages a fluid shopping experience. Here, the building is where the “structure, space, and façade form a single unit.”
The iconic structure and design has now come to become one of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks. Architects Herzog and de Meuron describe the building as “an interactive optical device. Because some of the glass is curved, it seems to move as you walk around it. That creates awareness of both the merchandise and the city—there’s an intense dialogue between actors. Also, the grid brings a human scale to the architecture, like display windows. It’s almost old-fashioned.”
"Because some of the glass is curved, it seems to move as you walk around it."