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Jun Aoki and Associates designs Louis Vuitton Osaka with glass sail facade inspired by its shipping commerce heritage

April 13, 2020

Underscoring Osaka’s Edo-era historic prominence as a trading hub and its reputation as the City of Water with interwinding rivers and canals, the latest Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka by Jun Aoki & Associates references its heritage through a sailing theme. The façade of the building, located in Shinsaibashisuji in Chuo Ward, is covered in ten sails. The sails’ 3D airfoil shapes are composed of the 2D curved glass panels, aimed at cost-efficiency. Each glass panel is double-glazed with two high transparency glasses, one of which facing outside is applied with ceramic frit to create a white cloth pattern on the surface, and to avoid appearing green, the colour those glasses originally have.

“Stay,” the structure that supports the glasses, is intended to be see-through from outside. Display of the stay is a new design approach with Louis Vuitton, whose previous exterior designs had been focused on generating visual happenstance without exposing structural supports. This execution may seem unlikely, but brings more coherence between exterior and interior, under a same design theme of a sailing ship and by genuinely following it.

The interiors have been designed by American architect Peter Marino.

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