Loro Piana Ginza Store

A Three-Dimensional Aluminum Louver Waving in the Wind

Loro Piana Ginza Store

Chuo-ku, Tokyo
AS(Reorganized from Jun Aoki & Associates)
This louver facade belongs to the store of a textile manufacturer facing Chuo-dori Street in Ginza. A design by architect Jun Aoki, the upper portion of the facade features a shape like that of a sheet of cloth waving in the wind. The sides of the louver slats were painted kummel, the company’s brand color, with a gradation which gradually seems to dissolve into the sky above as it goes up. The facade is 56m high in line with height restrictions on Chuo-dori Street, but the fact that the part of the building made up of actual rooms reaches only 30m high and everything above that is unused space made the bold design of the upper portion possible.
The aluminum louver slats are all isosceles triangles with the same angles; the angle of their installation was altered by 3° each, and their front portions are covered with stainless-steel mirrors. During the day, the mirrors on the front of the louver slats shine brilliantly, while at night, the slats are illuminated by the light of LEDs on their undersides, concealing the mirrors. This results in the building presenting a completely different appearance between the day and night. The louver slats were designed to be openable as units for maintenance and replacing the LEDs. In order to ensure that light would evenly spread across the entire facade, including the upper undulating portion, extensive work was put into getting the details correct right up to the very end, including the building of a full-sized mock-up, running simulations using BIM software, and adding shielding plates on-site after construction was completed.
5 m- and 2.5 m-tall units comprise the basic modules of the louver on the Chuo-dori Street side. In total, 140 units were produced. The undulating facade from the sixth floor up was constructed using frames which provide support to the units with curved surfaces. In order to make it possible for these frames to create a curved surface when louver units were attached to them, the curves of the units and the steel frames were designed with 3D CAD software. The frames, fasteners, and units all affect eachother, demonstrating the power of the concept and use in design of BIM, which is capable of constantly evaluating the interactions of the entire facade system. The parts for the louver were manufactured and assembled in China, painted in Thailand, and assembled as units in Japan before being transported to the site.



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