Commissioned to redesign the façade of the Louis Vuitton’s flagship store in Tokyo’s Matsuya Ginza, architect Aoki Jun & Associates transformed what previously was a concrete block tower into a luminous pearl shimmering in the urban landscape. Inspired by the luxury retailer’s monogram and the city’s art deco architectural history, Jun turned Vuitton’s monogram into a repetitive geometric motif. The pattern was then pressed and perforated onto sheets of aluminum and coated with an exceptionally durable pearlized fluropolymer paint. The opal hue and three-dimensional pattern give the façade a plush quilted appearance that subtly changes with the light throughout the day. At night, LED lights placed behind the perforated reliefs of the façade make Vuitton’s monogram visible in the dark. Very classy, very cool.
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This week the U.S. Treasury unveiled new $100 currency redesigned to discourage counterfeiting. If counterfeiters are deterred by ugliness, this should do the trick.
Okay, we understand the need to incorporate high-tech security features, but was it really necessary to make statesman Ben Franklin look like comedian Jack Benny? Who’s idea was it to stick the Liberty Bell in an orange inkwell and feature the back side of Independence Hall instead of the front? And why was Franklin dressed in a lavender jacket and shoved off-center so an offensive blue 3-D security ribbon could run down the middle? It seems like our most revered American symbols are being mocked.
Still… if anyone offered to give us a suitcase filled with ugly new $100s if we’d stop complaining about the bad design, we’d gladly accept.
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