It has been 30 years since 1979 when Minoru Takeyama, the Japanese super-architect, saw the opening of one of his more famous project – Shibuya 109. In the the three decades since it’s opening, Shibuya 109 has become (along with LaForet in Harajuku) one of the two most important department stores in all of Japan for young Japanese girls fashion.

If you have any interest in Japanese retail architecture or Shibuya 109, I suggest you check out today’s Japan Times for a cool article on the subject.

Shibuya 109 Square
Shibuya 109 Square

Photo by Manish Prabhune via Flickr

Here are a few interesting quotes, but the full article is quite long, so you need to click over to the Japan Times website to read it.

Minoru Takeyama on the original intent of the project (a goal fully realized):

From the opening in April 1979, Tokyu wanted to create a “Fashion Community”…

A little on the history of Takeyama and where his influences come from:

The exterior of 109, whose name is taken from the Japanese characters to (meaning 10) and kyu (9), reflects Takeyama’s postmodern and avant- garde origins, which he developed while studying and working in the United States and Europe more than four decades ago.

And a little bit about Shibuya 109’s place in the mayhem that is Shibuya:

…109 has its cylindrical twin elevator shaft on the outside. Parallel to the sidewalks on either side, the plain, aluminum sheet-covered walls of the main building streak away from the station, certainly a contrast to the nearby environment of brash video screens and lit signs.

Again, please check out the full article for lots more interesting info and quotes from the now 74 year old legend of Tokyo Fashion architecture.

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