Japanese architect Nobuo Araki has transformed an indoor swimming pool in Tokyo into a fashion store, turning the empty pool and its steel ladder into key features of the boutique's design (+ slideshow).
Nobuo Araki designed The Pool Aoyama store to occupy the vacant ground floor of a 1970s apartment building. The space previously housed a private pool for the occupants of the building, but had not been used for years.
The architect used the shell of the old pool as the framework for the design, with the hollow shape providing the outline of the shop floor and the surrounding space creating a display surface.
"We renovated it as to not interfere with the space of the swimming pool," the design team told Dezeen. "The void space is very attractive because it has a multiplicity of uses, it can also serve as showroom."
"On our first visit to the empty pool, we were drawn to the soft light that filled the space, and the charm of the well-worn walls and floor that had come through decades of use," they added.
A glass floor was installed across the base of the empty pool. Two sets of dark wooden steps lead down to this floor from the pool's edge, meeting in the middle to form a central aisle.
Clothing and accessories are displayed on white shelving units mounted around the edges of the pool, while stainless steel pipes hang from the ceiling to form U-shaped clothing racks. Low tables and an accessories cabinet also provide display space.
Blue and white tiles line sections of the walls, resonating with the paving stones and mosaic-tile stripes that cover the surrounding floor.
Araki also installed a glass ceiling to bring natural light into the front of the store, and located two stock rooms and a fitting room at the rear.
Photography is by Atsushi Fuseya unless otherwise stated.
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