52 Clothing Store

Japan, 20-07-2011

52, a clothing store in Shizuoka-shi, Japan, was designed in response to the question: How do garments relate to space?

Suppose Design Office decided on separating the space into a section that employs only natural light and one that uses solely artificial light.

In doing so they attempted to correlate the arrangement and treatment of spaces to how clothes are worn and to how the clothes will be seen in day to day life, much like how artist produce art in and for certain lighting conditions.

The interior is gallery-like in its elegant simplicity and despite there being hardly any windows it has a spacious feel. A zig-zagging wall made of 9mm metal sheeting separates the different spaces in a delicate way that still allows a strong visual and physical connection. In the daylight section, coats, trousers and shirts are illuminated by a recessed skylight.

The intention for this part of the space to be ‘exterior’ is reiterated by the small trees that line the dividing metal wall.

The ‘interior’ space is softly lit by bare light bulbs suspended above the space.

Here undergarments, jerseys and accessories are displayed in the conditions under which they would normally be seen.

In the corner is a secluded mezzanine that overlooks the shop floor. Images by Toshiyuki Yano.