A Surprise Hides in this Tokyo Parking Garage

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By Heather Corcoran
An 800-car parking structure is transformed into a subterranean shopping experience in a Tokyo fashion icon's latest venture.

In a city as dense as Tokyo, hot spots pop up in the most unexpected places—after all, it's not uncommon to find restaurants in office buildings or under train tracks. 

Architect Nobuo Araki of The Archetype and Harajuku icon Hiroshi Fujiwara have taken the concept further with a series of projects that fuse adaptive reuse with retail.

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Inside an unassuming parking garage, architect Nobuo Araki and Hiroshi Fujiwara have created a surprise-filled shopping experience.

Inside an unassuming parking garage, architect Nobuo Araki and Hiroshi Fujiwara have created a surprise-filled shopping experience.

Their latest collaboration is called the The Park-Ing Ginza, and it's their most underground yet—literally. Located in a parking garage beneath the Sony building in one of the city's most high-end districts, the shop comprises more than 7,500 square feet over two underground levels. 

A cafe and record shop welcome visitors to the first level on the subterranean shopping experience Park-Ing Ginza.

A cafe and record shop welcome visitors to the first level on the subterranean shopping experience Park-Ing Ginza.

Visitors to Park-ing Ginza are welcomed by Café de Ropé, a restaurant focused on toast dishes, and record shop Bonjour Records, before they descend to a second level featuring about a dozen retail spaces and galleries.

A sinuous stairway, one of a few architectural interventions to the raw concrete garage space, leads to the second floor.

A sinuous stairway, one of a few architectural interventions to the raw concrete garage space, leads to the second floor.

About a dozen brand boutiques are represented within the select shop. The partitions between them call to mind construction materials, and were designed to be easily transformable.

About a dozen brand boutiques are represented within the select shop. The partitions between them call to mind construction materials, and were designed to be easily transformable.

The space is designed to celebrate the existing parking lot structure, with few architectural interventions—the existing floors were only treated with dust-proof matte clear paint, and the fluorescent lighting is original (though the neon signs are all new). There's also little distinction between shops, a design move inspired by the informal nature of community garage sales. All of the sections are designed to be flexible, constructed with rugged materials that reference the setting.

Poggy's Box features a selection curated by&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.8;">Motofumi "Poggy" Kogi of United Arrows</span><span style="line-height: 1.8;">.&nbsp;</span>

Poggy's Box features a selection curated by Motofumi "Poggy" Kogi of United Arrows

Before Park-ing, Araki and Fujiwara collaborated on The Pool Aoyama, an abandoned swimming pool near Omotesando station they transformed into a nautical-themed shop. With this latest venture's first successful summer, Park-ing will welcome its second round of installations on September 10, 2016.

Shoppers at Park-ing Ginza will find selections from Nike, Off White, and Pintrill, among others.&nbsp;

Shoppers at Park-ing Ginza will find selections from Nike, Off White, and Pintrill, among others. 

The Park-ing Ginza is located at  B3F–B4F Sony Building5-3-1, Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo,Japan.


Cover photo by Atsushi Fuseya(magnet)