Tokyo Fashion Museum Competition Entry | Tokyo, Japan | 2009
Fashion Etalage for the City
Designed by Auzie Triratnamurti with Joost van Dijk, Esther Choi and Michel Zethof

The challenge consists in designing a 100 meters high tower-museum, containing exhibition areas of 20th century fashion history and becoming a landmark for Tokyo. For this purpose, the site is located at Omotesando Street, since this avenue gathers the world’s most important fashion houses, at their maximum magnificence.

Walking through Omotesando street your attention is caught by a straight but curvy white and transparent tower. It’s a huge 100 meter vertical fashion etalage (window display) that showcases Japanese fashion of different decades.

Imagine a doll house, stacks of multi-storey boxes with drawer-like showcases where dolls with beautiful gowns are kept in there to be displayed.

Open on its two sides, it visually connects the Tokyo tower and the fashionable Harajuku district. The etalage runs on both sides from the top to the bottom of the building. Where everything is displayed for the outer world to see. It is like a doll house that stores a whole collection of every fashion trends from time to time.

The two closed façades has a few vertical etalages, where more individual/special fashion are displayed. Because the rest of the façade is opaque the vertical translucent windows stands out in such a way that the displayed fashion gets more individual attention.

The exhibition rooms are narrow and high, divided by white walls with some connecting gaps. Here the concentration is on the displayed clothing. One exhibition area can be scattered on different levels. Treating each fashion item uniquely giving its own etalage space instead of a big room where all is displayed together. By lots of staircases placed in the exhibition rooms, combined with gaps in the walls, different routes through Japanese fashion history are possible for the visitors.

The high floors and display windows presents the visitors of the museum the view of the Omotesando fashion district and at the same time enables natural sunlight filtered by a lace to be reached deep into the etalage/exhibition spaces, natural lighting combined with artificial illumination in the show spaces creates a dramatic effect.

The runway is a giant live display window where fashion shows can be seen, from inside as well as from outside. Models stroll along the glass façade, with sakura mesh filtering the light. At the end the runway curves into the façade, here the models can turn around and strolling back again. Public can just stand along the runway, or on flexible chairs. Hanging screens can support the runway show.

The tower marks the beginning or the end of the Omotesando fashion district depending on which way the visitor approaches the building.