Text description provided by the architects. This eight-story commercial building—located on a corner lot at right angles to an alleyway and Omotesando Avenue—is actually surrounded by Tod’s L-shaped Omotesando Building by Toyo Ito. The façade of the former old building faced Omotesando exclusively, so the side façade, facing the alleyway, was exposed awkwardly like the backside of a building. Thus, this project tries to change this relationship to the Tod’s building by creating a diagonal orientation with an irregularly shaped circle. This is to maximize the corner lot feature of the premises, and to accentuate the inner vertical façade of the adjacent Tod’s building, in order to create a certain “symbiotic” synergy. The building’s structure is composed of multiple leaf-shaped columns made from steel reinforced concrete and arranged on the outer shell. The wood-like texture on these columns was developed by pouring concrete into a wooden mold.
Omotesando is the heart of Tokyo’s fashion scene, and it is distinctive for its beautiful rows of zelkova (keyaki) trees, which bring continuity to the avenue. On the other hand, the rows of exquisitely designed and eye-catching buildings express themselves so uniquely that they are all unrelated to each other. The Keyaki Building, however, was designed to relate to its context: as pedestrians walk by, it gradually changes its expression, to find a meaning through this movement. Furthermore, by bringing intervening elements into the context, such as the vertical scale made possible by its torchshaped form provided by the concrete columns, the project aimed to liven and enrich the ki (whole atmosphere)—not only of the building itself, but also of the Omotesando streetscape.