Fujitsubo by Archivision Hirotani Studio


Japanese architects Archivision Hirotani Studio have completed a beauty parlour clad with copper in Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan.

Called Fujitsubo (barnacle), the project incorporates skylights mounted in three pitched volumes on the roof.

These funnel light down into the interior where it penetrates to the storeys below due to slit-like glass panels in each floor.

The copper sheets that cover the roof and walls will change appearance over time.

Here's some more text from Archivision:


Barnacle – A Vessel of Light

This beauty parlor stands in the Omote-sando area of Tokyo, which represents one of the trend setting centers for this metropolis.

The building has three roof openings which pours light into the interior and, which, by slit-like openings in the floor is led into the floors below, reaching the ground floor, which in turn can be seen from the street level through its large glass windows.

Thereby, expressing the image of a “vessel of light.”  It is, also, a message of “nature” in an area where there is an abundance of “artificial” light.

Structurally, the shape of a “barnacle” with its thin yet hard cladding being the image, the three four-cornered conical forms in reinforced concrete are the structural elements for the roof and walls.

Copper sheets cover the intricate shapes of the roof and walls as the finish material for the building, which has incorporated the exterior insulation construction method.

The copper sheets, which change with the passing of time, have been used to express “Time” in an area where information and environments are ever rapidly changing. This small piece of architecture is an experimental expression of the universal theme of “light” and “time.”

Archivision Hirotani Studio
Hirotani Yoshihiro + Ishida Yusaku

Posted on Wednesday January 6th 2010 at 2:50 pm by Natasha Lyons. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • jos

    … a beauty!

  • justin

    drop furniture in there and the space will feel horribly cramped. i just can't see this as a domestic project. is the kitchen underground?

    • edward

      it says it's a beauty parlour…

  • i think the concept is the same of the parr house by pezo von ellrichshausen architects.


    beauty but not impressive

  • amsam

    What a nightmare! Three small skylights will not exactly “pour” light into that building, and the “slits” in the floors will not turn the ground floor into a “vessel of light”. More like an underground CIA prison. It even looks dark in the photos. People are going to be getting some strange haircuts in there if they plan on not using any artificial light because of their “message of ‘nature.'”

  • Janett

    Ouch…reminds me of Parr Building by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. But this is a strange copy.

    • Billy

      Many architects have used that form. This one is more vertical and glossy though, a climax. Don't try to copyright squares now bro…

  • Wybie


  • prem

    true, spacing and lighting has been left out

  • Martin

    Internally it gives me the feeling of an NHS waiting room. I can imagine a guy in a white coat with rubber gloves walking in any second. Externally, I love copper, but too much of a good thing and all that.. Also, if this was built in my neighbourhood it would be stripped of metal in no time.

  • Patrick

    Beautiful idea/drywall detailing, however the space seems inhabitable. I wish there were more images… it looks like a series of elegant landings to a museum…. maybe the real money shot is in the basement???

  • cm

    trendy skylights yes, now give me windows.

  • in my opinion

    Ouch! Isn’t that a little too much of copper? The exterior looks like some wierd vessel! I’d probably never want to step into this building!

  • xtiaan

    it looks great
    but it appears to be two rooms joined by three flights of stairs with a mysterious basement we dont get to see
    mabey some drawings/plans would help

    again something beautiful let down by confusing photos
    it getting to be a bit of a habit here at dezeen

  • i agree with the comments about habitability, light and furniture. the space is undoubtedly beautiful but im guessing that reality will be far less romantic than the images above.

    some of those pictures look like renders.

  • yrag

    I find myself completely uncomprehending of much of the current stark design trends in Japan.

    But I agree that this structure is quite beholden to Parr Building by Pezo von Ellrichshausen, sadly not in a flattering way.

  • sullka

    @Justin, it’s not a home, it’s a commercial space.