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This design was for a store in Ginza, newly opened by the sweets and cosmetics brand Meet Tree. This brand is managed by a lumber company in Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture.

The upstream area of the Kiso River, including Nakatsugawa, boasts one of the topmost productions of hinoki cypress in all of Japan. Among the hinoki produced, natural hinoki is called Kiso hinoki and is even used in the rebuilding (sengu) of the Ise Shrine every 20 years. The lumber company that manages Meet Tree is one of the long-standing companies that have continued the lumber business in this area for over a century. They planned this new shop as a place where they could introduce new products developed from the hinoki that they have carefully protected over the years and, by extension, also familiarize more people with the wonders of domestic hinoki.

As a one-story building with a ceiling height of 5.3m, located in a first-rate district in Ginza, the shop is in an extremely favorable environment. In this environment, we designed a huge roof made of lumber. Above the deep green space of the store — a green based on the image of Nakatsugawa’s hinoki forest — we floated two vaults made of 105mm x 105mm hinoki wood. Exuding both the strength and power of wood as well as the unique sensation of floating, these vaults command a large presence within the cityscape.

Each vault loosely defines the sweets and cosmetics areas, respectively. In this forest that has popped up in the middle of Ginza, you will be met with sweets and cosmetics crafted carefully from the rich bounty of the trees.

Composition of the Vaults – The two wooden vaults are both made from Nakatsugawa hinoki – the brand’s roots. The 105mm x 105mm hinoki wood pieces are slightly shaved to create trapezoidal shapes, which are then fixed next to one another with long screws to create a large, arching vault. These vaults are treated as beams, supported by delicate steel columns and the walls in the back.

Architects: Naruse Inokuma Architects
Lead Architects: Yuri Naruse, Jun Inokuma, Shino Marui, Masato Namiki
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa


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