The studio was tasked with implementing a completely original vision for the new complex, where 13 uniquely themed spaces aim to provide a revolutionary lifestyle experience—the unconventional open plan ‘Exploratorium’ is centered around the concept of a laboratory. “Rather than categorizing merchandise by brand, the experience is organized around the theme of ‘Lifestyle Laboratory’,” Nendo explains. This laboratory theme is interpreted through a digital lab, street lab, creative lab, and a play lab. “Each sales floor includes laboratory equipment such as beakers, flasks, and test-tubes, and diagrams of molecular structures, nucleotide DNA sequences, microscopes and amoeba, smoke, and bubbles,” they continue. “The aim is to encourage visitors to discover and enjoy a mixture of tastes and lifestyles.”
The store’s 13 themed spares are spread across 40,000 square meters and five stories. Although each of the 13 themes are visually distinct from one another, one point of similarity is that finishes on the floors, ceilings, and display cabinets all appear to coalesce with one another. “We blended the finishes in the common areas and retail spaces in a graduated way, which gives an impression that different materials are stirred together,” Nendo explains. “In this way, we made a point of creating an atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and feel free to approach the stores.” Notable design points include a space to exhibit ladies wear that encompasses many different minimal, geometric display cabinets—no two are alike; and a floor for electronics with displays that look like giant microscopes.