Teatime Beauty in Tokyo
Published January 11, 2010
COURTESY ARCHIVISION HIROTANI STUDIO
The Fujitsubo beauty parlor in Toyko’s Omotesando area sets the bar on beauty high. If it exemplifies its own beauty standards, then Fujitsubo promotes unconventional, sparse and organic elegance. The Japanese architects Archivision Hirotani Studio designed a series of funnel-like levels, which make the copper-clad structure resemble a high-end Turkish coffee pot. The name for this ethereal construction, which translates as “barnacle,” is equally, deceptively banal. Yet the building emanates tranquility. The three chimney-life peaks on the roof filter masses of light through sky-lights, bathing the space in natural light. The asymmetrical architecture’s character is captivating. And unlike many of the beauty parlor’s clients, it will age very gracefully. Admirers of the space already announce their anticipation for seeing the cooper exterior with a compelling green patina. Even more calming for potentially self-conscious clients than the soothing natural light is the bizarrely breathtaking building’s emphasis on jolie-laide beauty.