Clothes descend from the ceiling at Schemata Architects' Descente Blanc Tokyo store
Japanese studio Schemata has designed a shop with hanging rails that lower from the ceiling in Daikanyama, Tokyo, for sportswear brand Descente Blanc (+ slideshow).
The two-floor shop features poles that function as hanging rails that can be raised or lowered, depending on the display requirements.
"Our design intention is to incorporate 'movement' in space," said Schemata Architects founder Jo Nagasaka. "We especially focused on redesigning a service process, or a routine movement of shop staff going to pick up items from a stock room and delivering them to a customer."
"Here the shop staff's routine movement is converted to vertical movements of the hanger racks," he added.
Schemata previously used simple plywood units to convert an old timber-framed building in the Tokyo district of Shinagawa-ku into a rice shop, cafe and home.
The architects also transformed a warehouse into a cafe and roastery by inserting large panes of glass into the walls and floors of the previously windowless building.
The ground and first floor of the Descente Blanc store are connected by a powder-coated red steel staircase, which houses a curtained changing room underneath.
Wood and metal stools and benches are dotted about the space, and shoes are housed in gridded metal shelves and display cubes.
On the upper area, wooden floors contrast the steel girders that make up the underlying framework of the shop, which is exposed through the store's glass exterior.
"This shop is situated in a part of a commercial facility composed of a series of buildings clad in the same curtain wall," Nagasaka said. "We did not want the shop to stand out too much, nor to nestle silently in such environment."
"Our solution was to reinforce its spatial character by adding and subtracting elements made of existing materials in the surrounding environment, without adding new elements," he added.
Steel also features in Herzog & de Meuron's box-like shop for fashion brand Miu Miu, in the city's Aoyama district, while Tokujin Yoshioka installed large red aluminium triangles in Issey Miyake's Marunouchi store.
Photography is by Kenta Hasegawa. Art direction is by Rikako Nagashima.