The client requested the store to be visually open to the street while protecting the customer’s privacy. Given the client’s request, the architects proposed a glass facade with complex patterns that is transparent and shiny like a glass jewelry box, but distorts the interior view to conceal the customer’s privacy.
However, an ordinary patterned glass lacks in its transparency while a cut glass had a cost issue. The idea was to develop a unique glass with herringbone motif called Chevron, which is used as the lining for the store’s original bags.
First, the pattern was made using stainless steel frames with pointy edges. Then a 12mm thick single glazed glass is set on top of the steel frames and put inside a kiln where the glass is heated to 675 degrees Celsius, a point at which the glass softens.
As the glass softens, it naturally sinks 10~13mm by gravity between the frames, leaving the same chevron pattern made by the steel frame beneath it. This soft and inflated glass gives us a sense of delight that fills the interior.
L’Ecrin, Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo
Architects: Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP