Herzog & de Meuron
Project
2000-2002
Realization
2001-2003

We decided early on to focus on vertical volume containing the maximum permitted gross floor area so that part of the lot acreage can remain undeveloped. This area will form a kind of plaza, comparable to the public spaces of a European city.

The shape of the building is substantially influenced by the angle of incidence of the local profile. Depending on where the viewer is standing, the body of the building will look more like a crystal or like an archaic type of building with a saddle roof. The ambivalent, always changing and oscillating character of the building’s identity is heightened by the sculptural effect of its glazed surface structure. The rhomboid-shaped grid on the façade is clad on all sides with a combination of convex, concave or flat panels of glass. These differing geometries generate facetted reflections, which enable viewers, both inside and outside the building, to see constantly changing pictures and almost cinematographic perspectives of Prada products, the city and themselves.

But the grid on the façade is not simply an optical illusion; it is actively incorporated in the structural engineering and in conjunction with the vertical cores of the building, it supports the ceilings. The horizontal tubing stiffens the structure and also provides more private areas for the changing rooms and the checkout on the otherwise open, light-flooded floors of the building.

The fittings with lamps and furniture for the presentation of Prada products and for visitors are newly designed especially for this location. The materials are either hyper-artificial, like resin, silicon and fiberglass, or hyper-natural, like leather, moss or porous planks of wood. Such contrasting materials prevent fixed stylistic classifications of the site, allowing both traditional and radically contemporary aspects to appear as self-evident and equal components of today’s global culture.

Herzog & de Meuron, 2003

178_CP_0307_700_CHR
178_CP_0307_700_CHR
178_CP_0307_716_CHR
178_CP_0307_716_CHR
178_CP_0707_814_IB_1093_H
178_CP_0707_814_IB_1093_H
178_CP_0707_751_IB_0646_H
178_CP_0707_751_IB_0646_H
178_CP_0707_720_IB_0425_H
178_CP_0707_720_IB_0425_H
178_CP_0707_754_IB_0666_H
178_CP_0707_754_IB_0666_H
178_CP_0707_725_IB_0474_H
178_CP_0707_725_IB_0474_H
178_CP_0707_763_IB_0714_H
178_CP_0707_763_IB_0714_H
178_CP_0707_731_IB_0512_H
178_CP_0707_731_IB_0512_H
178_CP_0707_706_IB_0330_H
178_CP_0707_706_IB_0330_H
178_CP_0707_804_IB_1035_H
178_CP_0707_804_IB_1035_H

Process

The new building is located in a heterogeneous district of predominantly low-rise buildings.

178_SI_0001_500_K
178_SI_0001_500_K

The crystalline tower, evoking the shape of a bag or a traditional house, is essentially a logical consequence of the complex local building regulations.

178_SK_0304_502_2584
178_SK_0304_502_2584
178_MO_0001_009_B1
178_MO_0001_009_B1
178_MO_0001_013_C1
178_MO_0001_013_C1
178_MO_0304_2536
178_MO_0304_2536
178_MO_0002_122
178_MO_0002_122
178_MO_0304_2434
178_MO_0304_2434
178_MO_0002_021_lantern
178_MO_0002_021_lantern
178_MO_0106_08
178_MO_0106_08
178_CI_030403_01_unf-view_K
178_CI_030403_01_unf-view_K

The vertical access cores and horizontal pipes are linked to form a load-bearing system. In the models, the pipes create quiet zones within the fluid sequence of spaces

178_MO_0205_002
178_MO_0205_002
178_MO_0202_024
178_MO_0202_024
178_MO_0202_077
178_MO_0202_077
178_MO_0202_102
178_MO_0202_102

Models of the glass facade, moss cladding, snorkels and presentation counters in the Basel studio.

178_MU_0009_030
178_MU_0009_030
178_MU_0000_501_17_K
178_MU_0000_501_17_K
178_MU_0211_105_TextureMup
178_MU_0211_105_TextureMup
178_MU_0211_020_p-visit_K
178_MU_0211_020_p-visit_K
178_MU_0210_014_ARWtest_K
178_MU_0210_014_ARWtest_K
178_MU_0304_501_3675_K
178_MU_0304_501_3675_K
178_MU_0102_052_display
178_MU_0102_052_display
178_MU_0202_002_table
178_MU_0202_002_table

The diamond-shaped panes of glass are the facade’s external echo of the horizontal pipes within, which form separate interior spaces, each with its own functions and aesthetic qualities.

178_DR_0202_012
178_DR_0202_012
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178_DR_0202_010_sections_K
178_CO_0304_507_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0304_507_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0304_508_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0304_508_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0212_501_pps
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178_CO_0206_501_TAK_KA_K
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178_CO_0208_502_TAK_KA_K
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178_CO_0209_504_TAK_KA_k
178_CO_0209_504_TAK_KA_k
178_CO_0205_500_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0205_500_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0208_503_TAK_HT_K
178_CO_0208_503_TAK_HT_K
178_CO_0302_506_TAK_KA_K
178_CO_0302_506_TAK_KA_K

The building is striking for its height, its sculptural glass shell and the new plaza.

178_CP_0307_701_CHR
178_CP_0307_701_CHR
178_CP_0307_712_CHR
178_CP_0307_712_CHR
178_CP_0306_774_NP
178_CP_0306_774_NP
178_CP_0307_702_CHR 2
178_CP_0307_702_CHR 2

The diamond-shaped panes of glass provide vistas of the city as if through a lens; the displays show the merchandise. The cabinet-like spaces of the horizontal pipes create an artificial ambience.

178_CP_0310_729_MS
178_CP_0310_729_MS
178_CP_0306_730_NP
178_CP_0306_730_NP
178_CP_0306_760_NP
178_CP_0306_760_NP
178_CP_0306_739_NP
178_CP_0306_739_NP
178_CP_0707_814_IB_1093_H
178_CP_0707_814_IB_1093_H

Drawings

178_DR_080805_L-1_M1
178_DR_080805_L-1_M1
178_DR_080806_L0_M1
178_DR_080806_L0_M1
178_DR_080806_L2_M1
178_DR_080806_L2_M1
178_DR_080806_L3_M1
178_DR_080806_L3_M1
178_DR_080807_S1_M1
178_DR_080807_S1_M1

Team

Facts

Client
Prada (PRADA Japan Co.,Ltd), Tokyo, Japan
Planning
Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Associate Architect: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Structural Engineering: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Structural Engineering: WGG Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland
Mechanical Engineering: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Electrical Engineering: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Specialist / Consulting
Facade Consulting: Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG, Basel, Switzerland
Lighting Consulting: Arup Lighting, London, UK
Fire Protection Consulting: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Large Scale Store Law: Takenaka Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Building Data
Site Area: 10'257 sqft, 953 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 30'784 sqft, 2'860 sqm
Number of levels: 7
Footprint: 3'971 sqft, 369 sqm
Length: 65 ft, 20 m
Width: 72 ft, 22 m
Height: 104 ft, 32 m
Links
www.prada.com
www.fondazioneprada.org

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1997-2001. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 4.
Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2008. Vol. No. 4

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.
2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006.
Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 08.2006.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006. Monumento e Intimidad. The Monumental and the Intimate.
Vol. No. 129/130, Madrid, El Croquis, 2006.

“Prada Aoyama Epicenter in Tokio. Prada Aoyama Epicentre in Tokyo.”
In: Christian Schittich (Ed.). “Detail. Zeitschrift für Architektur und Baudetail. Bauen mit Glas.” Vol. No. 10, Munich, Institut für internationale Architektur-Dokumentation GmbH & Co., 10.2004. pp. 1131-1137.

Deyan Sudjic: “Cultura e Mercato. Commerce and Culture.”
In: Deyan Sudjic (Ed.). “Domus. Architettura, Design, Arte, Comunicazione. Architecture, Design, Art, Communication.” Vol. No. 861, Milan, Domus S.p.A., 07.2003. pp. 44-61.

Herzog & de Meuron: “Colmena y Escaparate. Edificio Prada en Aoyama, Tokio.”
In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva. Vol. No. 91”, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 07.2003. pp. 46-53.

Herzog & de Meuron: “Prada Aoyama Tokyo. Herzog & de Meuron.
Edited by: Germano Celant. 2nd ed. Milan, Progetto Prada Arte srl, 2003.

Herzog & de Meuron. Natural History.
Edited by: Philip Ursprung. Exh. Cat. “Herzog & de Meuron. Archaeology of the Mind. Canadian Centre for Architecture.” Montreal. 23 October 2002 – 6 April 2003. 2nd ed. Baden, Lars Müller, 2005.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1998-2002. La Naturaleza del Artificio. The Nature of Artifice.” Vol. No. 109/110, Madrid, El Croquis, 2002.

Location