When tasked with creating a shopping area based on the theme of ‘changing the shopping experience’, the team at Kikukawa turned to highly polished stainless steel to create a bright and inclusive space.
Text by Joanne McIntyre, Images courtesy of Kikukawa
Kikukawa recently contributed to the metal construction of one of Isetan Shinjuku’s remodelling projects, the 5thfloor watch shop in Tokyo.
The theme of this renovation was ‘changing the shopping experience.’ To cast aside the luxurious and exclusive space of the previous watch shops, the new shop aimed to balance a bright and gorgeous space that allows casual dropins while also maintaining the brand world-views. The theme of the decorations is ‘Courtyards of Churches in the Middle Ages’ and this is visible in details such as the circular displays and the vividly coloured interiors. Kikukawa’s mirror polish finished stainless steel ceiling and partition frames also contributed to implementing the design intent.
Water ripple panelled ceiling
The shop’s ceiling is lined with embossed, mirror polished stainless steel in the ‘Water Ripple’ pattern. The ceiling includes six invisible access panels measuring 948mm by 600mm. These panels are endowed with details that conceal the frames, locking system, and hardware. The invisible access panel system conceals the hardware, or frames, of the ceiling. The panels open with a single touch to a special thin plate. Being virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the ceiling panels, the access panels blend seamlessly into the ceiling and design. This project was the first to apply this system using a water ripple design panel.
Stainless steel partition frames
Curved stainless steel partitions create three semi-private spaces within the watch shop. These curved glass partitions measure 1560mm in radius, 2560mm in height.
Kikukawa crafted the screen frames that house the 60mm wide, 300mm tall glass blocks using 5mm by 25mm mirror polished stainless steel flat bars and 12φ stainless steel bars. Five different patterns of frames were crafted to accommodate the diverse patterns of the glass block placements.
As the installation of these glass blocks was to be accomplished by other contractors, Kikukawa devised details that allowed smooth installation despite the curved surface. Placing a specialized mechanism in a component that is the size of a little finger was challenging, but in doing so, the team was able to implement a slim screen.
Local quality supplier
While the client was initially considering overseas material for the water ripple ceiling, this was deemed impossible due to the quick delivery requirements. Kikukawa’s water ripple finished sample was selected when the client searched for a domestic material that could accommodate the limited timeline. Given the short delivery and mass production requirements, Kikukawa crafted prototypes and mock-ups swiftly to create high-standard products.