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Tokyu Kichijoji – Tokyo, Japan


The venerable Tokyu department store in Kichijoji, Japan has occupied the same building since its completion in the 1950s. As the first major project of our client’s real estate business, it is well established as the fashionable suburban neighborhood’s primary destination to shop, eat, and socialize.  The design challenge: update the exterior presence of the building within city codes, while allowing the stores to continue operating.

In response, Richard Beard Architects developed a counter-intuitive concept of softening the currently imposing concrete mass of the building into a bright, cloud-like appearance.  A patterned ceramic printed glass curtain wall creates a “shadow box” where the play of ever-changing light animates the six-story wall as a field of textured light and shadow fall on a background of wood or white surfaces.  Lighting will vary the appearance of the glass curtain wall at night, and can be programmed for seasonal or celebratory displays of light and color.

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