Friday, June 4, 2010

Modern Architecture Condensed

If you’re looking for modern architecture in Tokyo, Omotesando delivers all in one street. The tree lined avenue is of full of designer flagship stores designed by internationally known architects like Tadao Ando, MDRDV, Toyo Ito, and Kenzo Tange. The bulk of the must see buildings are between Subway Meiji-jingumae Station and Subway Omotesando Station, so it makes for a perfect stroll with bridges above the street providing prime viewing spots.
The people, buildings, brands, and just the whole atmosphere of the area is fashionable and the shady tree lined street is reminiscent of Champs-Élysées in Paris or Las Ramblas in Barcelona. I noticed that even the subway entrances are more stylish than what you would normally see.

Every step I took gave me something new to look at and more to get excited about. It was amazing to be able to see buildings by some of my favorite architects. The fresh, modern designs seen on the street had clean lines, interesting materials, and abstract forms that I have never seen in person before. Some highlights for me were the dreamy translucency of Christian Dior by SANAA, the branching lines of Tod’s by Toyo Ito, the geometric reflectivity of the Hanae Mori Building by Kenzo Tange, and the diamond bubble grid of Prada by Herzog and de Mueron. PingMag has a great page that shows a map and more images of buildings on the street.
I visited during the day, but I hear the whole appearance changes when the buildings glow in the night. There are some other great architectural pieces around the city, but this street made it so easy to check a good chunk of buildings off my list of must see Tokyo architecture.

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