Paris-based Miu Miu was established in 1993 by Miuccia Prada as a platform for exploring creative design concepts beyond her signature Prada line. Tomorrow, the iconic Herzog & de Meuron-designed Prada Tokyo Epicenter will welcome a sister Miu Miu store, also by Herzog & de Meuron, to the Aoyama district of Tokyo.
The 720-square-meter (7750-square-foot) building, sited diagonally across from the Prada Tokyo Epicenter on Miyuki street, features a canopied, metallic awning that lends the boutique a more intimate quality, in contrast to the transparency of Prada’s glass-and-steel façade. Herzog & de Meuron’s slightly-covered, box-shaped model for Miu Miu allows pedestrians to peer in at the two-story shop that, inside, is meant to resemble a spacious, comfortable home. The inside-facing surface of the exterior’s sharp-angled, steel awning meets a softened layer of textured copper that curves in at its corners. A wall and display shelves inside the boutique are paneled in a complementary copper material.
According to the architects: “Since zoning regulations called for less height, we explored the potential of a smaller, more intimate building. We used the following thoughts to channel our ideas: More like a home than a department store, more hidden than open, more understated than extravagant, more opaque than transparent.”
Aoyama—although not “particularly beautiful or elegant,” as the architects say— has remained a showplace for architectural innovation over the past two decades. The pair of Herzog & de Meuron projects are neighbored by the work of many esteemed architects including Toyo Ito & Associates’s Tod’s building, and Kengo Kuma’s Starbucks Coffee on Omotesando street. Prada has frequently collaborated with architecturally renowned firms on many design projects, such as Fondazione Prada with AMO in Milan, and OMA’s design for its Los Angeles boutique.