Lad Musician Nagoya by General Design


Japanese studio General Design have completed a tall narrow concrete flagship store with no windows for a clothing brand in Nagoya, Japan.

Called Lad Musician Nagoya, the building consists of an enclosed concrete box with three skylights in the roof.

The interior features three split levels and uses only three materials: concrete, oak and galvanised steel.

Photographs are by Daici Ano.

Here's some text from the architects:



We were approached by a prestigious apparel brand to design its new flagship store in Nagoya, Japan.

Conceptually, a concrete shell was created completely shutting out the sides while allowing its interior space to be filled with light by three skylights from above.

Intentionally playing with one’s visual perception, interior space transforms from a low ceiling-intimate space into a 10 meter-high space with soft light coming in from above. The stairs then leads to a fitting space on the top floor filled with light streaming down from the skylights.

Playing with light and shadow, the interior is designed to differentiate spaces with different degrees of lightness though the physical space itself is still perceived as a whole.

The building materials are intentionally limited to three: rough concrete, plain oak, and zinc-processed steel. Rough concrete is chosen over a smooth refined one because it gives a powerful feeling reminiscent of civil engineering work that has withstood the test of time.

Our design intention for this flagship store was to avoid a cosmetic approach of interior design by integrating more architectural concepts emphasizing beauty and strength of space and materials.

SITE AREA:82.99m2
BUILT AREA:64.04m2

Posted on Thursday January 14th 2010 at 3:42 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • ste

    really like the concrete surface! raw n sensual!
    the spice is nice too… looks very inspiring to me… only the artificial light is annoying… cant understand the light between floor and wall… so annoying

  • guisforyou

    what an entrance!!!!! (third image)

  • Brutal. Interesting, though.

  • Mystie

    But it is not wheelchair accessible….

  • peeween

    like the early Tadao Ando, very radical, harsh, yet appealing.

  • name


    It’s Japan… They don’t care about it.

    It’s still great a design.

  • harsh severe. would make a great dance club!

  • CROFTdesign

    IS much of anything wheelchair accessible in Japan?

  • ness

    solitary jail cell

  • Jovanny True

    The Spirit & Atomsphere are very closed to Tadao Ando’s projects.

  • William

    funereal.. i would live in it.. like a monks retreat

  • JOEF

    the indulgence of architects….is it there first time?

  • AJ

    Powerfully innovative!

  • Wish all clients were this open-minded! I think this is great!

  • angry catalan

    Uncomprimising, I like it.

  • angry catalan

    by the way, not only it’s not wheelchair accessible, but the 2F stairs are quite steep! Look at the section.

  • concrete+concrete+concrete, it’s just a closed cube…intriguing.

  • Looks like an SM club from outside.
    Where are the clothes by the way? I am really tired of all those Japanese projects with completely empty interiors.


    if that was a jail.
    i would confess to public urination any time

  • Daga

    In Japan they would carry you upstairs if you come in a wheelchair.

  • DrewDrew

    That’s the greatest idea ever. They are selling the emperor’s clothes.

  • graeme

    a beautiful project – well done. nicely managed sequence of spaces (including deliberately low entrance) within an austere shell. I like the recessed light detail – I’m sure it adds a lot at night.

  • Horrible Haridas

    Beautiful! I don’t even miss the windows…

  • amsam

    Interior layout is AMAZING. But the sun is our friend. Why hate her light so?

  • peppy

    the concrete work is superb!
    very strong and uncompromising space…

  • TH

    i wonder how the space feels like when the shop put in their clothes and everything… squeeze people…

  • xtiaan

    @th I wouldnt worrry they probably just display 2 socks and a t-shirt….
    via holographic projection.

    the japanese are CRAY-ZAY.
    crazy awesome that is.

  • In Japan people in wheel chairs wouldn’t even be able to reach the store front, so if it’s accessible or not is a moot point.

    I wonder about the insulation though. Oh, I forgot, this is Japan. We don’t do insulation here.

    Beautiful building though.

  • yrag

    The hard wood floor and underlighting are your only assurances that you are not to be interrogated.

  • gaga

    how do people make such bizzare comments!
    its japan, buildings are small, you do sqeeze through stores, you do scale steep stair cases.
    the light in this project is a miracle….architects are not indulging themselves, they are indulging anyone who walks into this building in a miracle!