The Penrose Institute of Contemporary Art opened in 1993 as the Tokyo cousin of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Efficient use of space is the norm in Tokyo, so to fit an art gallery over 8 small floor plates lead to a sequence of spaces linked by a glazed lift. The foyer and shop are on the ground and first floors, while on the 7th the bar commands impressive views over the city. We took advantage of the tower’s corner site on a main route into Roppongi by turning all the windows into linked projection screens for artists’ installations. Meanwhile during the day its layered surfaces suggest continual reconstruction, an inherent quality of this fast moving city.
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