Celine Ginza G6

Casper Mueller Kneer Architects


This Celine Tokyo Flagship Store is located in G-Six, in Ginza, Japan's most celebrated shopping district. It develops over 2 floors and is facing Chou-dori, a vivid streetscape that changes drastically between day and night. 

The new façade spans 5 storyes and is based on the Japanease tradition of 'Noren', a decorated curtain or screen that is placed in front of a store. Celine's Noren is made from bespoke ceramic pieces set in steel frames. The ceramics units are made from an untreated white clay and are only partially glazed. Their rotation creates a varied pattern across the façade. At night the ceramic pieces are subtly illuminated. 

The ground floor façade uses 'pebble dash', a bespoke exposed aggregate concrete that uses specially selected aggregates to create a rich textured surface. 

The glazed ceramic 'Noren' starts a first floor level, the main level of the Celine store. Here we wanted to create both views across the streetscape below and bring in natural daylight, while at the same time create privacy for shoppers inside the store. In this area the façade has the biggest transparency, the ceramic elements are rotated to their sides and the glazing is visible from the interior as well as exterior.

On the floors above, transparency was less important and therefore the façade is more closed. An overall pattern creates movement across the façade. The rotation pattern is designed using computer parametrics, which is then translated into carefully controlled fabrication drawings, showing the rotation for each of the ceramic elements.

The ceramic pieces are made a small workshop south of Tokyo, a traditional ceramics area. The pieces are fired in a traditional furnace, and slight variations in the hand-applied glazed are a desired effect, balancing between the requirements of a mass fabrication and a hand-made artisan product.

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