Shop in Kobe
Louis Vuitton, the French fashion concern, commissioned a number of young international architectural teams to design a series of new shops in Japan. Transparency, lightness and visual effects were the dominant elements of all the schemes. In this shop in the centre of Kobe, the sales areas are situated beneath four parking decks. The aluminium louvre cladding to the upper levels lends the structure transparency as well as providing surfaces for advertising. The louvres, turned at various angles, are printed with graphic motifs that merge to form company logos when viewed by passers-by. The facade to the sales spaces below comprises two superimposed layers. Behind the outer glazed skin is a metal mesh – consisting of brass and stainless-steel strips – that makes reference both to traditional Japanese wood facade structures and to the Louis Vuitton fashion label. The glass skin, with inte-grated showcase windows, is suspended from the steel load-bearing structure by means of steel-and-glass fins. The showcases articulate the 8.20-metre-high glazed section of the facade in such a way that it was possible to install the panes of glass – with a maximum height of 7.60 m – without horizontal abutments. The planar facade has the appearance of a wall-hanging and also reflects the interior design with its metal fabric mesh and printed glass finishings.