Designs revealed for Harajuku Quest
New cultural & commercial centre under construction in Tokyo
Tenderstream member OMA and Shohei Shigematsu have revealed designs for the 84,000 sq ft mixed-use complex Harajuku Quest, which is now under construction in Tokyo. Located a short distance from major city destinations, the new commercial and cultural centre will build on developer NTT’s ‘With Harajuku', which opened in 2020, and a larger urban development to facilitate a new flow of people through a series of alleys, squares, and commercial zones for informal encounters and exchange.
Harajuku Quest will draw people and activities from the city’s Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku areas, connecting the two for the first time. Omotesando has a strong urban identity defined by wide sidewalks and a string of retail flagships of well-recognized global brands, while Oku-Harajuku offers a more intimate experience with narrow streets and human-scale buildings housing independent shops. In response to the two contexts, the building is designed as a single form with two differing aspects: a sculptural expression toward Omotesando, contrasted with a stepping and fanning facade facing towards Oku-Harajuku.
A series of human-scale terraces rise in steps, creating variegated, open space, while a second level terrace forms a large plaza for cultural programs and gatherings, extending neighbourhood life into the site and the creating opportunities for activity beyond the traditional retail experience.
Shohei Shigematsu, OMA partner, stated, “The conjunction of Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku embodies a duality of urban context as well as Tokyo’s fashion and retail culture. It was essential for the new building to bridge the two areas and express two stories. Like two sides of the same coin, a single building conveys alternate personalities, connected by a new public corridor. Harajuku Quest acts as both a visual and programmatic convergence point of Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku—a gathering place where visitors can experience the activities and aura of global fashion and local cultural scene simultaneously.”
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