Harajuku Quest | OMA - Office for Metropolitan Architecture

Tokyo / Japan / 2025

4
4 Love 1,659 Visits Published

Located on a site in between Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku–a short distance away from major public destinations including Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu, and Harajuku Station–Harajuku Quest is a new phase of NTT’s effort to transform an area of Harajuku with energetic, urban life.


The project builds upon NTT’s “With Harajuku”, 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 both Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku and connect the two areas for the first time.


Omotesando presents a rare axial thoroughfare in an area predominantly defined by winding, non-linear streets, with a strong urban identity defined by zelkova trees, wide sidewalks, and string of flagships of well-recognized global brands. The growing need for expressive branding in retail architecture has contributed to the growth of building scales on the street over time, with stores emphasizing distinct identities only toward the main axis.


Just north beyond Omotesando’s mainstream corridor, Oku-Harajuku offers a more intimate experience—a “village” townscape of tight, organic streets and human-scale buildings housing independent shops. Since the 1970’s, the neighborhood has cultivated a distinct youth culture and creative movement with a global recognition and influence on streetstyle fashion.


In response to the two contexts, a single form is shaped by two different manipulations within the site’s zoning envelope—pinching and pulling for a sculptural expression toward Omotesando and stepping and fanning for an inhabitable façade toward Oku-Harajuku. A monolithic, transparent face rises on Omotesando, setback at the top to bring light in and set back at the ground to make a funneling pedestrian passage to Oku-Harajuku.


In opposition to the expansive verticality, a series of human-scale terraces rise in steps, creating variegated, open spaces for programs to spill out toward Harajuku. A public datum on the second level terrace is expanded to form a large plaza for cultural programs and gatherings, extending neighborhood life into the site and the building activity beyond the traditional retail experience.

4 users love this project
Comments
View previous comments
    comment
    user
    Enlarge image

    Located on a site in between Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku–a short distance away from major public destinations including Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu, and Harajuku Station–Harajuku Quest is a new phase of NTT’s effort to transform an area of Harajuku with energetic, urban life. The project builds upon NTT’s “With Harajuku”, opened in 2020, and a larger urban development to facilitate a new flow of people through a series of alleys, squares, and commercial zones...

    Project details
    • Year 2025
    • Work finished in 2025
    • Status Current works
    • Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Shopping Malls
    Archilovers On Instagram
    Lovers 4 users