nendo Designs a New Lifestyle Complex in Tokyo

Forget conventional shopping malls: a series of boxes — with glass facades, sunlit interiors and leafy roof terraces — takes centre stage at Kashiyama Daikanyama

Image by Takumi Ota

Image by Takumi Ota

Designed by Japanese studio nendo and its interior design arm onndo Space Design Office, a clue into the concept behind the Kashiyama Daikanyama complex can be found in its name – with a sense of yama (Japanese for ‘mountain’) reflected in the staggered heights of the overlapping box-like units.

As elegant as it is discreetly luxurious, the complex – created for the major Japanese retail company Onward Holdings – could have been built on a much larger scale. However, Oki Sato, the founder of nendo, instead made a conscious decision to keep the dimensions on a smaller, more layered scale so that the complex would fit better within its low-rise setting in Daikanyama.

The result is a complex of seven staggered ‘boxes’ housing shops, galleries and eateries, overlapping horizontally to resemble a series of small hills. Each of the units has an exposed glass facade that allows natural light to flood in, and they are all loosely connected by external staircases and rooftop terraces.

There is the airy basement cafe, complete with soft-edged circular seating, minimal white pebble-like motifs on the walls and clutches of hanging plants (plus a tasty Basque cheesecake on the menu).

A gallery and lounge area occupy the ground level, while Market spans the second and third floors and offers upscale, creative fashion (curated by Opening Ceremony founders and Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon) scattered among abstractly minimalist and soft-edged interior displays.

The fourth-floor restaurant is another highlight: Coteau (French for ‘hill’) is run by cult Tokyo chef Yosuke Suga, who is behind the widely acclaimed Sugalabo restaurant. Here, new generation French cuisine is served against a bolder backdrop of rich ochre yellows and greys, metallic curves and hanging lighting. At the apex of the building is an intimate bar, with expanses of dark woods, night-sky blues and brass fixtures.

In trademark nendo style, the individual elements of each ‘box’ are woven together by overlapping textures and interconnecting structures – and perhaps best reflected by the juxtaposed medley of contrasting yet complementary floor materials like herringbone terrazzo, fabric-textured cement and marble printed on glass.

Text / Danielle Demetriou
Images / Courtesy of nendo

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