In 2019 Uniqlo approached Herzog & de Meuron to reinvigorate an existing department store building in Ginza as their new global flagship store. Uniqlo Tokyo is now revealed and open to the public.
The existing building Marronnier Gate was built in 1984 to house the first large-scale Parisian-style department store in Tokyo. In an exercise of design through subtraction, Herzog & de Meuron stripped away the conventional retail interior to reveal the functionality and simplicity of the building’s original concrete skeleton.
The exposed open network of beams and columns throughout the interior and exterior provides a raw but muted framework to display Uniqlo’s products as a whole. Double-height entrances and the interior quadruple-story plaza create remarkable views from all levels and a meeting point for people. Visitors see and are seen: everything at once. The vitality and voyeurism of Ginza street life extends into the heart of Uniqlo Tokyo.