UNITED ARROWS & SONS —Ala Champ
Ala Champ
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ONSEN RYOKAN YUEN SAPPORO

Overlooking the Stunning Botanic Gardens, A Relaxing Respite in Sapporo

FUTURE FOOD SYSTEM

"Imagine If We Could Solve the World’s Biggest Problems by Simply Changing the Way We Live"

RYOJI IKEDA

The Japanese Artist Presents His Long-Awaited Solo Exhibition in London

SOKI ATAMI

Irrepressibly Restorative, Remedial and Relaxing: The Perfect Retreat

The Sunseeker

Community is at the Heart of this Design-Led Boutique Motel in Australia's Byron Bay

MENYA INOICHI

Bib Gourmand-awarded Low-Key Ramen Dining, With a High-Quality Twist

Landline Paris

Find Everything Handmade in France at this Carefully Curated Independent Store in Paris

SATOSHI KONDO

As The Way It Comes To Be: The ISSEY MIYAKE designer's Garments With Presence

IM MEN / AOYAMA

Find The Famed Japanese Label's New Mens Brand In Their 1987 Shiro Kuramata-Designed Interior

KOFFEE MAMEYA KAKERU

The Art of Coffee Meets The Craft of Cocktails In A Spectacular Interior

OPTICKS

After A Decade and A Half, Japanese Contemporary Artist Hiroshi Sugimoto Recreates Sir Isaac Newton’s Prism Experiments

A WEST AFRICAN ROAD TRIP WITH ART COMES FIRST

Discovering Accra's Craftsmanship & Sustainable Culture Through The Eyes Of The Locals

DEKOTORA

Filmmaker Joe Almond Catches A Rare Insight Into The Fascinating Japanese Subculture

TOMONARI HASHIMOTO STUDIO VISIT

In Situ In The Famed Ceramic Region Shigaraki

TOMONORI HASHIMOTO

Three-Dimensional Geometric Works Exploring The Essence Of Being

JOE MORTELL

Transport Yourself To The Surreal Scenes & Brilliantly Vivid Worlds of the London-based 3D Designer

UNITED ARROWS & SONS

Dramatic Spanish Columns & Curved Glass Facade in Central Tokyo, Designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura

January, 2021
United Arrows & Sons, Harajuku, Tokyo © Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura

Nestled in the backstreets of Harajuku and positioned along a main road, United Arrows & Sons is one of the world’s most renowned fashion boutiques carrying the future of fashion on its racks. With garments from leading to emerging designers, the interior presents an exciting global offering that has long ensured it one of Tokyo’s top destinations.

Yet its own unassuming structure is so exceptional in design, almost effortlessly, that it is easily overlooked. Designed in 1992 by Spanish architecture firm Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura for (World Company Ltd), the building’s tall European columns and transparent, curved glass facade presents a surprising form, complementary to Tokyo’s existing eclectic landscape. The architects noted on the site and design, “With a unique, industrial sense of order and a regular, well-defined interior, the building contrasts with the surrounding urban fabric, a neighbourhood in which no other building compares in height, form, scale, or material.”

Spanning a site area of 1,300 sqm, the structure presents five floors, a bar, and a restaurant. Notably, the building features an internal walkway that allows for access from two opposing streets. The interior pathway divides the building into two volumes, where it connects again on the top floor, providing a completely new view over existing floors and the surrounding neighbourhood. The navigation is intentionally explorative, encouraging customers a sense of flexibility and a greater freedom of movement throughout the various pathways and perspectives. Whilst the walkway is intentionally functional for structural flow, it also offers a moment of calm from the surrounding retail inspired by traditional Japanese courtyard gardens. Bofill Arquitectura explained, “The intimate, inner sense of space relates to the Japanese tradition of tsuboniwa, or formal Japanese courtyard gardens.” Indeed providing a complementing balance between the dramatic Colonial columns and a sense of Japanese nature and zen. 

United Arrows & Sons, Harajuku, Tokyo © Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura
United Arrows & Sons, Harajuku, Tokyo © Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura
United Arrows & Sons, Harajuku, Tokyo © Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura

UNITED ARROWS & SONS
3-28-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku 155-0001
Tokyo, Japan

United Arrows & Sons, Harajuku, Tokyo © Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura
United Arrows & Sons, Harajuku, Tokyo © Ricardo Bofill Taller Arquitectura
January, 2021