The fire that in 1872 devastated an area of the city recently renamed Tokyo was seized by the Meiji government as an opportunity to implant on its streets the European-style model of modernization that it was trying to institute in the country. This is how Ginza came into existence as a commercial epicenter, a district that looked like the West and which has since been a choice location fought over by luxury brands and department stores. Marrioner Gate rose here in 1982 as a building with unobstructed spaces, with services pushed to the edges and eliminating views out.
An extensive déshabillage operation has reinstated the visibility of the original bold structure, a grid of concrete pillars and beams that has shed its partitions, false ceilings, and generic finishes to give an RTW fashion line’s flagship store its identity. A series of perforations in the horizontal slabs connects the various levels, which in combination with new openings to the street and display elements placed in the voids generates a rich play of visual connections, much in tune with the firm’s casual spirit and desire to give shoppers a fun experience.