Dolce & Gabbana Aoyama Store, Tokyo

Designed by: Gwenael Nicolas / Curiosity
For client: Dolce & Gabbana Floor area: 521.80 M² Year of completion: 2016
Nominated for: Best Use of Light

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About the Project

This innovative design project establishes an emotional connection between the structure, products and materials through light effects, contrasts and special perspectives.

Both the architectural design and décor expresses Sicily’s distinctive and vibrant luminosity through chiaroscuro effects. The boutique is a space resembling a compact black volume lit by light projections that illuminate the displayed collections in regular intervals. The 200 projectors on the ceiling move around, switching on and off, making the product burst with colour or remain in the shadow, giving the atmosphere of a sunny day.

The boutique houses the menswear and womenswear collections, clothing and accessories on two levels. The outside of the store is in Arabescato marble, which also covers the inside of the store windows and inserts itself in the display cases for small leather goods. Meanwhile, the majestic panel in front of the entrance with the Dolce & Gabbana sign is in black Carnico marble. The floor of the boutique is tiled with black ceramic. The large gold staircase attracts attention like a huge candle at the center of the space while also transmitting a sense of strength and confidence.

What’s unique about it

For the first time, the gap between digital retail and the world of traditional retail fills into this store. Nowadays, major brands are trying to re-create “real experiences” on their digital platforms, through exciting and surprising websites, in which the products are presented in sequence. Great attention is always given to those who are browsing, guiding them through the large amounts of images. To this end, in the Aoyama showroom, objects are choreographed to constantly appear and disappear.

Lighting devices usually used for concerts and museums were brought in to frame the space and products in an evolving fashion. The light does not put emphasis on the objects, but rather reveals them in a theatrical manner through the use of spot lights with concentrated light beams. The garments, with their peculiar Dolce & Gabbana textures and almost baroque details, are perceived as something ethereal and possibly unreal.

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