ultramarinus – beyond the sea

LIBRARY IN THE WOODS, Tsutaya Bookstore, Daikanyama (代官山), Tokyo (東京), Japan

Named by some books and magazines as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, the T-Site by Tsutaya Books is the biggest attraction in the affluent neighborhood of Daikanyama (代官山).  Designed by Tokyo firm Klein Dytham Architecture in collaboration with communication and graphic designer Kenya Hara and designer Tomoko Ikegai, the T-Site is an architectural gem in Tokyo.  A web-like facade system resembles a layer of white lace wrapping the three box-like buildings.  Intended to create a “Library in the Woods”, the three bookstore buildings is connected by a 55m “Magazine Street” on the ground floor and surrounded by lush green vegetation.  A cafe is provided on the ground floor with views of the outdoor greenery.  A more upscale lounge is located on the upper level surrounded by bookshelves holding different series of architectural and design magazines.  Other than books, stationery merchandise are also impeccably displayed under atmospheric lighting.  While we were there, T-Site was full of shoppers.  Compared to many bookstores around the world struggling to survive in today’s digital era, T-Site is certainly a great success story.

1The approach to the entrance of the T-Site resembles a short walk to a garden pavilion.

2The web-like facade system resembles a layer of lace fabric made of uncounted “T”.

3Outdoor spaces between the three bookstore buildings serve as garden courtyards, offering pleasant green views for the interior.

4Covered with vertical strips of highly reflective stainless steel, the bridge linking the bookstore buildings appears like a sculptural feature of the architecture.

5

6The vertical strips of the bridge match perfectly well with the lace-like wall cladding.

7The shadows of the strips offer an interesting experience while crossing the bridge from one building to the other.

8The green view outside and the reflected scenery on the strips create a compelling imagery like an abstract painting.

9Seating in the bookstore offer various pleasant spots for visitors to enjoy a moment of peaceful reading.

10There is a garden behind the three bookstore buildings.  A cluster of interesting shops scatter in the garden, including a camera shop, organic eateries and lifestyle stores.

11The T-Site garden is full of planting.

12Outdoor sculpture can also be found in the garden as well.

13We couldn’t resist but get a bowl of organic vegetable soup from an vending truck.

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