Architect Jun Aoki designs fabric-like façade for Loro Piana’s new Tokyo flagship
The storied Italian brand makes a subtle architectural statement with its new Tokyo outpost
Italian brand Loro Piana – famed for its covetable cashmere – has opened its flagship boutique in Tokyo, Japan. Designed by Japanese architect Jun Aoki, who also recently redesigned The Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art, the sweeping, 56-storey building has a distinct vernacular that marks it apart from its Ginza neighbours.
For the curving facade, Aoki was inspired by the tactility of Loro Piana textiles. ‘When I held a piece of Loro Piana fabric in my hand it evoked a certain airiness, yet possessed a sense of dignity,’ Aoki explains. ‘Its surface, comprised of countless, intricate lines of indiscernible threads, would tremble ever so lightly in a gentle breeze.’
Echoing the motion of moving fabric, the solid façade of the building appears to wave, flag-like in the wind. The classic Loro Piana colour ‘kummel’ appears in full saturation at the base of the building, fading to white as the storeys rise. Clad in mirrored steel strips, the building reflects its lively Ginza context, creating an almost vibrating texture. Placed behind these slats, a micro-perforated fabric diffuses the light, evoking a soft and nuanced effect, which is particularly striking after sundown.
Inside, prominent use of Loro Piana textiles continues, covering around 85 per cent of the interior spaces. The brand describes walking across the threshold as ‘being welcomed into the warm atmosphere of a private home’.
New, Ginza-specific offerings created for this boutique include the ‘Inside Out’ bag, developed in the tones of Aoki’s architecture, with a Cashmere Storm System interior recall the kummel and steel of the facade. Symbolising the deep bond between the Italian house and Japan, the new capsule collection makes use of fabric woven from the lotus. A plant sacred to Buddha, the lotus flower is a textile treasure that grows in Myanmar, where it is still collected, spun and woven by hand; an example of Loro Piana’s commitment to, and continuance of, ancient textile traditions. §