The Fashion of Architecture: Custom Uniforms for the Tokyo Sky Tree
November 7, 2011
All images: The Tokyo Sky Tree
The Tokyo Sky Tree isn’t completed yet, but it’s already the tallest free-standing broadcast tower in the world. At 2,080 feet, the lattice-steel structure now looms 109 feet over the next tallest structure, the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China (1,971 feet). More important, the developers say, is the structure’s anti-quake technology that reduces quake vibrations by 50% and which effectively shielded the tower from the devastating damage wrought by the March 11 earthquake. The engineering was derived from ancient Japanese construction techniques and employs a central trunk of reinforced concrete (the ‘shimbashira’) rising from behind the exterior steel mesh to stabilize the structure when it is shaken.
That’s all great, but let’s put the building aside for now. In what might be a first, we’re more interested in what the staff will be wearing. When the tower opens next May, visitors will be welcomed by employees dressed in a whimsical suite of patterned garb. More after the jump!
Archinect blog Nipponesque pointed the way to these deliciously retro wares. The line, which has been in the works for over a year, was unveiled this past week to build anticipation for the tower’s opening. Designed by Akira Minagawa of minä perhonen, the uniforms are meant to convey design and hospitality, while expressing the colorful and varied experiences the Tokyo Sky Tree has to offer. Minagawa crafted eight different uniforms for each type of worker and ensured that the material was locally sourced and of high-quality. He patterned each of the fittings with shapes abstracted from the forms and rhythms of the surrounding cityscape, which can be fully experienced from each of the tower’s two observation decks. The result, he believes, evokes a “pleasant landscape of memory.” Here’s to hoping that more buildings come with specially-designed clothing lines.
Facility Guide staff
Information counter staff
Ticket Counter Staff
Gift shop staff