Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Maison Hermes, Tokyo (1998-2001) by Renzo Piano is the corporate headquarters and retail store for Hermes Japan. The program includes offices, workshops, retail and exhibition spaces, multimedia areas and a roof garden. The building also includes access to the subway via a courtyard which divides the long facade in two.
It is an elegant glowing rectangular form which has been carefully crafted from specially designed 45cm x 45cm glass blocks which gives the impression of the building as a precious object containing equally precious objects
Renzo Piano stated that the building was inspired by traditional Japanese lanterns. The thickness of glass facade blurs the activity within during the day and at night the building glows from the light within whilst simultaneously providing acoustic insulation from the bustling Ginza streets outside. Clear glass boxes become display cases for Hermes products at street level.
Maison Hermes is the most elegant use of glass blocks I have ever seen.