title: Marcomonde
location: Tokyo, Japan
use: retail
size: 20 sqm
completed: 2019
photographer: Takumi Ota

This is the first, permanent retail space for the Japanese fashion brand, Marcomonde. It’s located in front of the escalator landing on the fourth floor of the eleven-story Shibuya PARCO department store in the high-trend fashion district of Tokyo, Japan.

The Marcomonde brand focuses on socks and footwear. The new store’s primary focus is to represent the brand’s identity in just under 20 square meters. The space—composed of stairs, millwork, and floor—has been conceived as a free-standing, abstract, geometric sculpture. The overall design gives the appearance of a staircase, but this is an illusion, as the staircase leads nowhere. Instead, the footwear and other apparel are displayed along the staircase. Clothing items are hung on simple industrial piping, continuing the design’s playful surrealism.

The stair surfaces, walls, floors and panels have been uniformly finished with durable, epoxy-resin mortar with grey undertones that showcase the colour, pattern, and detail of the products. The shelves are made of stainless-steel pipe and high-translucency clear glass that complement the building’s existing infrastructure. Although the assembled space has the appearance of a solid block, it’s in fact a shell allowing hidden functional areas for storage, a change room, and a desk.

The design of the Marcomonde Shibuya store combines the physical familiarity of a staircase with a clever showcasing of the brand’s collection of socks and footwear. With its placement in front of the main building’s escalator landing, the store creates an intriguing physical disorientation by suggesting a stairway leading to a secret place.