Now that Prada has opened its $83 million Tokyo Epicenter store, it can claim to be the the only retailer with flagships designed by two different sets of architects who have won the Pritzker Prize, the field’s top award. And if the designer of the company’s SoHo store, Rem Koolhaas, is architecture’s equivalent of a rock star, its equally brilliant Tokyo collaborators, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, have the personas of scientists. The pair shot to prominence with their transformation of an English power station into the Tate Modern art museum, but they’re more concerned with building great architecture than their personal profiles.
Prada’s Tokyo store, in the city’s Aoyama district, is representative of their affinity for geometric designs, and is already admired for its faceted windows upon which patterns of light are projected from dusk until dawn, making the building appear to melt or pulse from within. Inside, “sound showers” and touchscreen “snorkels” expand shoppers’ experience to the aural and tactile dimensions.
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