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MONDO ARC

Armani Ginza Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Issue 42 Apr / May 2008 : Retail : Store

Architect: MASSIMILIANO FUKSAS ARCHITETTO Lighting Design: SPEIRS AND MAJOR ASSOCIATES


Keith Bradshaw, Associate Director at Speirs and Major Associates, describes a challenging project with interesting results in Tokyo.

Speirs and Major Associates were appointed in June 2006 to work on a new 12-storey Armani Building in the Ginza area of Tokyo. The building was to house multiple parts of the Armani brand to include separate Emporio and Giorgio Armani Stores, an Armani Spa, a restaurant and a private members bar. The building’s context in central Tokyo had to be studied carefully to make sure the night-time image of the building was visible against the neon-noise of the city without creating an unsuitable façade for the brand. The overall lighting philosophy for the store and facades were developed closely with Giorgio Armani and Studio Fuksas to create an experience where light was an integral part of the visual concept.

Facade
The lighting concept for a bamboo forest in silhouette transforms the building at night. The desire to avoid a large two-dimensional lighting concept was critical to the design approach. The bamboo stems appear to extend the full height of the building. Backlighting from within the bamboo create a light halo onto the facade glass and interior blind. Light leafs are carefully balanced with the light from the bamboo stems, the light leafs use groups of Color Kinetics SL- Flex LEDs to create a part-media screen with video inputs. The video allows colours and animations to run on the leaves.

EA Store
The polished black ceiling, wall and floor created multiple reflections in the store. Backlighting behind linear laser cut holes created luminous strips in the wall and ceiling that were mirrored and layered in the reflections. The intensity of light to the merchandise was carefully considered to create the correct relationship with the feature walls and ceiling. The light within the walls and ceilings is animated to create a sense of light waves moving across the store. Strong light contrast is used to dramatic effect to bring the merchandise to life.
A concealed lighting slot within the ceiling hides the lighting for the merchandise. A bespoke panel system is used to maximise the lighting angles while hiding views into the slot. With the active ceiling design and the reflections of floors and wall, the slots and openings for light disappear. Endo Lighting from Japan worked carefully to produce a flexible, robust and easy to maintain luminaire. Backlight for the walls and ceilings used 0-10V dimmable fluorescent programmed to create animated waves on intensity across the store.

GA Store
The facade concept of the light leaf used on the facade was extended into the GA floor levels as a concealed light cove providing general light from a ceiling feature. Mesh glass sub-division panels are lit from above to bring them to life and increase the sense of floating fabric in the space. Lighting control is used to subtle effect to intensify and dim light to the AR111 lamps on the mesh panels allowing the walls to become less solid increasing views through the mesh panel. This theatrical effect allows individual areas of the store to solidify and open up in a subtle looped cycle.
Concealed light coves at the perimeter walls create vertical illumination defining the architectural line of the room. The intensity of the walls was very carefully balanced with the concealed light to the merchandise. The ceiling slot system is the same as for EA levels.

Restaurant, Prive
The position and emphasis of lighting in the restaurant and prive floors was critical the successful atmosphere of the room. Light was carefully concealed to maximise the impact of the length but to minimise views of luminaires. Light toward the tables creates a subtle golden glow from the table up onto customer’s faces and to the golden panels above table locations. Lighting concealed with the feature walls work in conjunction with front lighting to the wall to create a backlit feature with a strong articulation of perforated wall material.
A final touch in the restaurant is a golden dappled light with used the bamboo leaf motif projected on the floor using concealed ETC Source 4 CDM Projectors with custom gobo and colour correction filters. Visitors and waiting staff dapple through a carpet of golden light animating the room as people move around. In the prive this leaf projection is used to strong effect on circular tables and at the bar counter. This light leaf on the table appears to emanating from the tables themselves and provides a warm and flattering golden light onto customer’s faces.

www.samassociates.com

 

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