Ginza Six

A Noble Post-Metabolism Concept for Commercial Facade Design



Photo of Katsuhiko Muramoto

Katsuhiko Muramoto

Associate Professor of Architecture

Penn State

Photo of Junko Owada

Junko Owada

Architect at Asahi Building Wall Company, Tokyo



Tokyo’s prestigious Ginza District, is home to innovative architectural design. One of the most recent examples is Ginza Six (GSIX), the largest commercial development in the history of Ginza, designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi. This paper describes his design concepts behind GSIX:Hisashi(eaves) and Noren(fabric dividers hung at the shops entrance), and examines six different luxury brand stores with Noreninspired facade designs. The paper briefly covers the benefits of these facades as Double Skin Facade (DSF) systems and compares them with a conventional curtain wall renovation of the Louis Vuitton Matsuya on the same street.


Ginza is synonymous with luxury and prestigious fashion. It is home to numerous global brand name stores, and is often compared to New York’s Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive in Beverly

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Metabolism and Gsix

As its name implies, the Japanese Metabolism of the 60s was inspired by biological processes and ecosystems. The Metabolists conceived of architecture as a metaphor for a living organism, and

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Concepts of Hisashi and Noren

Traditionally, a Noren is printed with a shop owner’s crest or the trademark of the shop, thereby signifying a company’s brand value. It is hung from the Hisahi (eave) at

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Six Different Noren Inspired Facades

As seen in Figure 3, Taniguchi’s concept of Noren permitted each of the six anchor tenants on Chuo Dori to create a distinctively unique façade expressing an individual brand image

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Construction of Fendi

Fendi’s façade design, fabricated in Germany by seele, consists of a series of 40 stainless steel arches with a special finish to simulate the travertine marble of the Palazzo della

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Noren Inspired Facade as Double Skin Facade

Although he never described it as such, Taniguchi’s Noren inspired multi-layer façade could function similarly to a corridor-type DSF. The only difference is that the outer skin in this case

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Comparison to Conventional Curtain Wall Facade Renovation

According to a colloquium at the Getty Center, the average life span of modernist buildings is 60 years, however the cladding system of the building may last at best 2

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Conclusion and Future Work

Architectural façade design for commercial buildings is considered to be an important part of a marketing strategy, and many companies hire world-renowned architects to design their flagship stores. This is

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This is a part of the ongoing research titled, Ginza Skin Care. It was made possible by the support of the Raymond Bower grant at Penn State, and Asahi Building Wall Company in Tokyo Japan.

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Unless otherwise noted, all pictures are courtesy of the authors.


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“Ginza Six celebrates its first anniversary.” (accessed June 3, 2019).

Mostafa M. S. Ahmed, Ali K. Abel-Rahman, Ahmed Hamza H Ali, and M. Suzuki. “Double Skin Facade: The State of Art on Building Energy Efficiency.” Journal of Clean Energy Technologies, Vol. 4, No. 1, (2106): 84-89.

Okada, Y. “Commercial Architecture is a Balance of Constants and Variables.” facilities (accessed April 2, 2019).

seele. “fendi store tokio – classic steel-glass design.” (accessed March 13, 2019).

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