REI Dance Studio, Ginza Tokyo


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This was a group project between Lyndsay Sherak and myself to design two infill buildings in an extremely narrow space in Ginza, Tokyo. Due to limited space in Tokyo, and the high price of real estate, we aimed to maximize the usage of the space by intermingling the two programs and making the top floor open space transformable.

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REI Dance Studio, Ginza Tokyo

  1. 1. Ginza, Tokyo Front Perspective Ginza, Japan. 1:34 p.m. Upon entering the REI Flagship store, the shopper is submerged in a virtual field of green grass. A ramp summons him up into REI FLagship Store the heart of the building, twisting and turning around the narrow interior. He is intrigued by a group of ballet dancers coming past him down the ramp, seemingly out of place. Turning the corner, he glimpses a room, empty but for a mirrored wall. Soon realizing it is a dance studio, the shopper is surprised. More dancers immediately enter the room from an interior chamber and begin their dance practice. He continues up the ramp, finding the first REI retail space, the shoe department. After much deliberation, the man decides on a pair of hiking boots. Although hiking boots were all he came to buy, the shopper is fascinated by the uniquely-programmed towers, and continues. The next turn of the ramp lead directly around the middle, engulfed building. Offering a great view of the surrounding Ginza, the glass tunnel also allowed him a glimpse into the middle building, a confectionary. He made his way through the building, encountering several REI merchandise platforms, as well as dance classes. The man soon realizes that the large glass chasm passing through one of the towers morphs into the pinnacle, a spacious glass showroom containing REI’s newest items and prototypes. After looking around and enjoying the view, he makes his way back down to the street in his new hiking boots.
  2. 2. Rear Perspective Morphoses Dance Studio Ginza, Japan. 9:02 p.m. Excited to see the Morphoses Ballet Company, the couple passes the threshold into the tower. They immediately are aware of the huge open-air glass chasm over their heads. The massive rift cuts through every floor of the building, finally revealing a glimpse of the starry night sky. Passing through the doors, the couple climbs the main stairs and makes their way to the elevator. The elevator ride passes quickly. As the doors open to reveal the theater, the couple is astonished. The theater is completely glass, offering a beautiful view of Ginza from all directions. After exploring the theater and mingling with other patrons, it is time for the performance. The couple finds a front row seat and settles in. The surrounding clear glass suddenly begins to fog, and is soon opaque. Dramatic red light is suddenly projected on the clouded glass behind the stage, creating a backdrop as the dancers enter. The performance is outstanding. The acoustics were surprisingly good for an all-glass chamber, the couple comments to each other. Perhaps because of the mysterious objects floating high above their heads. As the show ends and the dancers receive a standing ovation, the glass magically clears, revealing the lively skyline. The couple makes their way back to the elevator, already planning their next visit.
  3. 3. Morphoses Dance Studio South Tower Section
  4. 4. Morphoses Elevator REI Ramp REI FLagship Store Interior Program Circulation Perimeter Circulation Ginza, Tokyo North Tower Section