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Inhabitant Store by Torafu Architects

Karakusa hexagons inhabit a Harajuku sportswear store.

Inhabitant Store by Torafu Architects


March 10th, 2010

In the hip and happening Harajuku district – Tokyo’s notorious fashion mecca – Torafu Architects have designed the Inhabitant flagship store.

Combining playfulness with quintessentially Japanese minimalism, the retail project effectively balances the brand’s identity as a sportswear store that combines function with fun.

With floor to ceiling glass windows, the concept of window-shopping is taken to another level by Torafu Architects, who have allowed external admirers an all-encompassing view of the merchandise.

Fashion is liberally hung and folded over the two floors, while a vast bench on the ground floor displays the fashion as the focal point, which doubles up as a catwalk for in-house fashion shows.

While understated grey and white tones certainly don’t compete with the colourful clothes, they do have to contend with large clusters of hexagonal green motif tiles.

The brainchild of artist Asao Tokolo, the motif printed tiles adorn the walls, floors, ceiling and columns, creating a dynamic design, which adds vibrant colour to an otherwise monochrome look.

Renowned for his straddling of art and mathematics, these karakusa patterns (the Japanese answer to arabesque), are the artist’s signature obsession.

The tiles each boast a completely unique pattern, but thanks to mathematical ingenuity can be designed so as to link harmoniously to all the others.

Torafu Architects

All photography Daici Ano

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