day 02_Tokyo_HdM: PRADA store

The building is truly spectacular. I didn't see it during the day, so my perception of it and my consequent thoughts might be obscured by the mysteriousness of the night itself. Even at night, though, one cannot help but notice the structure when passing by, although I was having a hard time finding it, perhaps because I expected something much more grandiose, for lack of a better word. The way the building announced itself on the street was subtle. Its crystal-like mass almost dissolved into the night sky at the tip of the structure (no lights were on above the street level inside the building) and only small glittering reflections from the bowing glass panes indicated its presence. The bottom appeared to continue into the ground, as if passing through and continuing beyond the faceted surface of the adjacent street. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Japanese traditions of lightness and ephemerality, and in a strange way I thought that Herzog and deMeuron (HdM), with their incredible attention to detail and their understanding of site and local culture and traditions, were able to create a building that is more Japanese than any other building I have encountered so far in Tokyo (Toyo Ito's Tod’s store looks heavy and almost clumsy next to HdM’s crystalline prism).