The Wall

Tokyo, 1990

When our Tokyo client acquired this site, his command to us was to design a building that looked as though it had been there forever, yet signified the 21st-c. We achieved this by pretending the Romans had been to Tokyo, and this was the remains of a much longer wall built by them.  We wanted the design to give the impression of being endlessly adapted and reused, hence windows appeared to have been blocked and moved, and a spiral staircase stitched through the facade. The real working spaces are on floors cantilevered from the rear of the ‘wall’. The basement and ground floors house a club and 24-hour café respectively, while on the top floor, there is the Tokyo version of one of the most famous restaurants in Italy, Cibrèo from Florence.