Thursday, November 3, 2011


Photo courtesy of wakii

Gyre, or swirl, a term often used in oceanography, evokes eddies, currents, vortices . Gyre, designed by Dutch architects MVRDV in Omotesando shopping district, Tokyo, is a multipurpose commercial and retail complex whose volumetry, despite being massive, evokes movement and dynamism through its terraces.

Photo courtesy of kokix


Gyre is one of those glamorous buildings that seem to line up in a fashion parade along the Omotesando groove. Al early the Spiral Building by Fumihiko Maki and the headquarters of the Nursing Association of Japan by Kisho Kurokawa , followed by other important buildings such as Omotesando Hills by Tadao Ando (located in front of the Gyre) and Dior by SANAA (located on the side, and whose white, translucent and almost fragile structure contrasts with the dark massiveness of Gyre).

Important density of buildings created by famous designers congregate in Omotesando

Contrast between the Gyre and SANAA's Dior

It is built on a street corner of Omotesando street and narrow and steep street, the Kyu Shibuya River Promenade, also called Cat Street.
With an area of ​​8979 m2, the building was built between 2006-07 by Takenaka Corporation.

The Gyre during its construction in 2006


The proposal is based MRDV a set of stacked boxes that rotate around its vertical axis. The Dutch office had already been experimenting with compositions of boxes and public spaces separated from the street level, as in the case of building Sanchinarro Mirador in Madrid.

Primary idea . Image courtesy of MVRDV

The building consists of 3 basements and 6 levels. Each of these 6 floors rotates around the central space, giving the general impression of an eddy, a gyre.

Floors 1-3

Floors 4-6

Sections. Images courtesy of MVRDV.

This rotation generates spaces, which far from being residual are utilized as terraces. This concept allows the architects to confer a certain lightness to the massive volumes that make up the composition.

The facade, ceiling and terraces are made ​​of polyurethane concrete
Photo courtesy of staff note

Photo courtesy of a + n + l + w + o

Some terraces are connected by external stairs that trigger a type of circulation not common in commercial buildings, which rather have an internal circulation that distributed to all stores (another case of trade with external terraces interconnected is the Times I and II in Kyoto).

The terraces are connected by external stairs.
Photo courtesy of Rob't Hart

Photo courtesy of deedeelim
Restaurants located in some of the terraces have good views of the Mall


The shops are arranged around a large central space that contains the stairs, allowing light to access through a skylight. It is also the structural core of the building.

Photo courtesy of Olly Denton

Known brands such as Chanel, Bulgari, and a shop of the Museum of Modern Art in New York - MoMA, alternating with cafes and restaurants.

MoMA's first store outside the U.S., designed by Richard Gluckman


Gyre is not just another commercial buiding that presents itself to the world as a glamorous model, but inside is introverted and lacks communication. MVRDV's proposal is based on movement, includes the pedestrian, involves the urban space into the building and suggests an interior space that is as attractive as the facade. An idea that had already been explored decades ago with Fumihiko Maki´s Spiral Building, a pioneer in Omotesando.


In order to take pictures inside this place I had to buy a small cake.. it was spectacular.

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