The owner of hhstyle.com, Takayuki Harada, a personal friend of the architect, commissioned the project of a new store to Tadao Ando, and asked him to, preferably, to propose a building whose formal language would be different than that of his traditional projects. Ando’s response, which opened in 2005, could not be more striking. It is a steel structure, massive, angled, detached from the environment, completely introverted and almost intimidating.
Andos design is an unusual origami-like structure fashioned from 16-mm steel plates. Although the site is relatively ample by Tokyo standards (352m2), part of the area is limited to steel-frame or wood construction not exceeding two stories. Furthermore, the lease for the site covers two areas, one for a ten-year period, and one for half that duration.
Two stories plus a basement arranged as a continuous interior space, this design store has a total floor area of 469m2 and a footprint of 210m2. In the construction rule of Tokyo that requires new buildings not to block more than a certain percentage of neighbors light, Ando crafted the form until he found the ideal solution. Just under ten meters tall, the dark steel building is painted with a zinc-based primer fluoropolymer paint. Just as the 4×4 House II wiil surprise certain people, so too will the hhstyle.com building, but for different reasons. Ando shows here that he can be a virtuoso with materials other than concrete.