In The Heart of the Midosuji district of Osaka in Japan, stands the new flagship Louis Vuitton Store like a billowing ship sailing in a vast sea. Set against the bustling shopping street of Shinsaibashi-suji, the building is commended for its brilliant façade.
Designers Jun Aoki and Associates and Peter Marino collaborated to create this masterpiece which finally opened to the public in February this year.
Jun Aoki is famous for designing many of Louis Vuitton stores across the globe including the Louis Vuitton store in Central Hong Kong and numerous in Japan!
The concept for the building arose from the history of its location, Osaka. Osaka is located on the island of Honshu, where it is historically famous for its large seaport. Drawing inspiration from this piece of history, Architects Jun Aoki and associates envisioned the alluring façade of the building.
The curving light and airy glass sail envelope with the metal base in the ground floor give the sense of a ship floating on water and allow light to filter through during the day. In the night, the same façade provides a feeling of lanterns.
“The purity of the façade is reinforced by the use of metal fretwork motifs at ground-floor level”
- Jun Aoki and Associates
This four-story luxury store also enjoys the fashion brand’s very first Louis Vuitton Café called Le Café V and an élite restaurant called the Sugalabo V.
Le Café V sits atop the building and spreads across the terrace of it with an adjoining speak-easy and a unique cocoon room. While the restaurant, Sugalobo, is accessed through a concealed door from Le Café V. This restaurant headed by Chef Yosuke Suga boasts the topmost ranking in the list of the World’s best restaurants in 2019 by La Liste.
The showroom with its interiors made of wooden floors with wooden clad pillars and metal ceilings evoke the feel of a deck of a ship.
The four floors of the building house the fashion line with clothes and accessories set against a colour palette with shades inspired by Japanese Landscapes. Light colours echo throughout the building highlighting the idea of minimalism in Japanese craft and culture.
Around 20 contemporary art installations are assembled along with the fashion pieces in various places around the showroom.
Each assemblage of fashion article are positioned along with seating that invite users to ponder upon them almost welcoming them to create a sort of dialogue with the articles. The colourful interiors also serve the same purpose.
Historical items from the Louis Vuitton Archives also made their way into the display at the store that benefit from viewers’ attention.
The concept was to create intimate spaces with the fashion pieces by conceiving a design that facilitates this very idea. Hence a strong usage of furniture and like elements to draw attention towards the fashion articles from the large massive halls is seen.
In this way, the architect has tried to weave an experience within the store where fashion meets the natural landscape of Japan through the subtle interiors.