Undercover Lab is a building, which is undercover. Not only is it tucked away in the back streets of Harajuku but the site is also very deceiving. A 10 m long narrow driveway leads to a 12m x 12m site at the rear.
The building houses a studio, press showroom, and office. A 20 m long hanger rail to show the entire collection of one season was required. This is housed in a black tube running along the only 20 m straight line on the site, which extends out over the entrance driveway. This cantilevered tube extends the building’s influence to the main street in a strong but stealthy way.
The tube was made to look as anonymous as possible, almost like a shipping container where you have no idea of its contents. The tube also intimates the form of tools such as telescopes, imparting a mysterious feel, but without revealing its true purpose.
The basement and first floor structure had to be concrete, but the client was not keen on the look and feel of this material when it was left exposed, so to overcome this we simply left the formwork on the structure of the walls and ceilings. Recycled wood from an old school was used for all the floor in the building, leading to a warm friendly feel.
Name: Undercover Lab│Type: Commercial / Office│Architect: Klein Dytham│Completed: 2007