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Giorgio Armani Store, Roppongi

The Giorgio Armani store in Roppongi Hills is an attempt to capture the sublime spirit of Japanese architecture and iconic landscape design in a setting that gives value to Giorgio Armani’s fashion while referencing the cultural context of the Tokyo store. The silver marmorino plaster on walls and ceilings are subtly reflected in the black granite floor. Against these simple surfaces are the stainless steel metaphorical “bamboo” elements, each imprinted with a white stipple that recalls the texture and form of a Japanese garden. These elements all recede into the background and act as a foil to the clothes and accessories, which occupy center stage. The long, narrow lower level has the feel of a catwalk, and is indeed designed to be used as such for special fashion events. Close attention to detail is a characteristic of the VIP rooms as well as the change and bathrooms. Cashiers’ desks are informal counters where clients sit in comfortable Armani Casa sofas, complementing the custom display racks and accessory cases, the design of which is also derived from Japanese craftsman furniture tradition. The facade is a continuous glass sheet with a rhythm of showcase windows as well as back-lit, black panels punctuated by the Giorgio Armani Logo. All of this is elevated on a podium, a few steps above the wide sidewalk of fashionable Keyakizaka Avenue. Originated by Giorgio Armani, this concept was developed in close collaboration with his architects, lighting consultants and operations staff in Milan and Tokyo.