Tod's, Tokyo


This store for luxury Italian shoemaker Tod's demonstrates Ito’s fascination with buildings’ outer skin. The seven-storey building continues his exploration of ideas of surface, the dramatic structure mimicking the shapes of the tall elm trees that stretch along Omotesando Avenue and reinterprets them in its facade as a series of crisscrossing geometric forms. The facade is a smooth blend of concrete and glass and materials are kept simple. The structural frame that supports the building is well concealed.

Inside, polished plaster walls and walnut floors echo the angular shapes of the gaps on the facade. Light, both natural and artificial, plays an important role in the success of the building. Opaque glass hides the rear view so that shoppers are drawn to the front of the store where they play an important role in animating the building. On the 6th floor Ito has provided a single room for private events, above which is a boardroom, extending out on to a terraced roof garden. The building was completed in 2004.