The competition brief had specified a 100m high tower-museum on a tiny plot of land in Omotesando, Tokyo's fashion district. Our team's competition entry was an experiment trying to redefine some basic concepts of what constitutes a skyscraper and their influences on museography.
The most important decision was for the tower to have such a minimal visual impact in general, and on the street-level, in particular, that it could pass unnoticed. Thus we raised all the main functions to the highest permitted limit, and started building our museum from the top down.
Consequently, the main access of the exhibition spaces was not on the street-level anymore, but at an altitude of 95m, on the Virtual Ground Floor (accessed via an express elevator after stopping at the Intermediate Access Point, or ticketing & lockers).
While in the express elevator, as well as in the museum, the visitors have no visual clues to the altitudes they are at: they first become aware of their elevation just upon their exit from the elevator at the Virtual Ground Floor and its Japanese garden (+95m) with views over the city; then, following the natural pull of gravity, the visitors descend through the blinded and airtight museum and the floating fashion exhibitions, and find themselves in the open again at the first balcony (+40m) and open runways (+30m).
Arriving at the actual street level, visitors of the Tokyo Fashion Museum will have experienced a ride down the proverbial rabbit hole.
PUBLIC SPACES: 200 sqm
PERMANENT EXHIBITION ROOMS: 1650 sqm
TEMPORARY EXHIBITION ROOM: 300 sqm
TERRACES OR URBAN BALCONIES: 100 sqm
SKYBAR – JAPANESE GARDEN: 100 sqm
BAR: 50 sqm
RUNWAY SEATING & AMENITIES: 150 sqmRUNWAY: 40 sqm
ADMINISTRATION: 120 sqm
PARKING/LOADING/STORAGE (underground): 340 sqm
TOTAL: 4000 sqm