5-1-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
Architect: Toyo Ito, Takeo Higashi, Akihisa Hirata, Kaori Shikichi, Leo Yokota, Takuji Aoshima, Yasuaki Mizunuma
Structural Engineer: OAK Structural Design Office
Mechanical Engineer: ES Associates
General Contractor: Takenaka Corporation
Toyo Ito’s Tod’s Omotesando is an Italian shoe and bag retailer located in Tokyo’s luxury brand shopping district.
This L-shaped building fits tightly between a cosmetics shop and a piano showroom with only 33 feet of prime street space.
The unique facade on Tod’s Omotesando resemble the zelkovas, elm-like trees lining the Omotesando boulevard. There are a total of 9 overlapping tree silhouettes surrounding the six exterior walls. According to Ito “trees are organisms that stand by themselves, so their shape has an inherent, structural rationality.” The branches of the facade “grow” thinner at the top and thicker at the bottom .
The concrete facade together provides for column free floors within the complex. The exterior walls are 12 inches thick and act as both load-bearing elements and surface treatments .
The Structural Design Office OAK used “soft concrete with a high slump factor and two layers of wooden formwork to realize all the precise and uniquely shaped pieces” . Glass panes, and in some areas aluminum panels, are inlaid between the concrete branches .
Each floor in the interior of Tod’s Omotesando has a unique floor plan. The stairs are comprised of sculptural glass, steel, and travertine and are located in the front or the back of the store, close to the supports provided by the exterior. The sixth floor is an 18 foot high events room, and on the roof of the building sits a glass meeting room and a private dining room .
Tod’s Omotesando is an innovative building in Tokyo, Japan. The facade brings in customers from off the street, and the interior layout keeps these customers entertained inside. Ito’s building contributes to the success of the shopping district and in this case form definitely follow function.
Case study by: Kartik Sampath
ARE 320K Fall 2010
Other Sources (UT Library):
 “Tod’s Omotesando Building in Tokyo.” Architectural Record. Apr.-Jun. 2005 v.193: 79-85.
 “Tod’s Omotesando.” Japan Architect. Winter 2006. n.60. p.38-39.