Walking down the Ginza is like strolling through a glossy magazine – and these buildings are the ads. These brand images are largely communicated through the facades, which increasingly resemble screens. The Chanel store uses a facade composed of hundreds of thousands of LEDs – a high-res building-sized video screen. Uniqlo is an exception to the high end brands in Ginza – having built its brand providing basic clothing at reasonable prices. So in contrast to the sleekness of the other facades, our approach at Uniqlo Ginza was to go simple and basic.
If facades are now screens, our Uniqlo facade is a pixilated “electro-retro” version. It is made up of a matrix of one thousand illuminated cells, whose luminosity can be individually controlled to produce chunky Tetris-style patterns on the facade. A mirror-finish stainless steel grid placed over this screen has the effect of breaking up and blurring off its sharp edges. The four-square Uniqlo logo shines through all, lit up with a bright LED array. Luxury, at low-res.