09. Aug 2016

Hat Cloud in Tokyo/JP

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag

Photos: Takumi Ota

It is not easy to make your mark as a unique retail outlet in a large-scale shopping mall, especially when the products for sale are nothing more “exciting” than hats. Architect Oki Sato was faced with this very challenge in the Seibu Shibuya Center in Tokyo/JP and has designed an exquisite retail space in which the customer feels she is enveloped in huge clouds.

Hat_Cloud_Online (3)

Hat_Cloud_Online (2)

The hat store is located in a relatively remote section of the mall and consists of a series of irregularly positioned cylindrical structures. But it is not only the unusual spatial design that makes this project so striking. The way it has been implemented is also highly convincing. Not a lot of woman wear hats nowadays, but the display in this boutique gives hats a new lease of life. Besides the three-dimensional cloud shapes and the fact that the hats are mounted on slim poles that resemble the handles of umbrellas or sunshades, it is light that plays a key role in the presentation of what is actually a rather mundane product.

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Light radiating down through the clouds naturally simulates sunshine. Individual spotlights, some positioned apparently randomly, some installed in rows in the layer of cloud, generate the impression of raindrops – or sunbeams breaking through the wisps of cloud, softly grazing everything with light and bringing it to life. Hats provide protection against sun and rain. Additionally, in contrast to the surrounding stores that are designed using conservative colours, the walls In the hat store have been finished in pink and brown hues, and wood has been applied to conjure up a warm ambience.

Design and architecture: Oki Sato – Nendo


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