19.10Fstill hot , why ?
Daimaru – The Department Store
The other day, Daimaru Department Store which is in Shinsaibashi Osaka, was renewed and reopened. This department store, designed by Vories, use to stand beside (the now demolished) Sogou Department Store, which was designed by Murano. Those two buildings were famous modern architecture along the Midosuji Line. That's why this location is called "The Face of Minami" and new, aggressive architectural works are still being constructed.
Ever since Sogou by Murano was unfortunately demolished around 10 years ago, this Daimaru by Vories has been in public attention. The resulting project was the façade conservation, which is a typical method of building conservation. Speaking accurately, this project succeeded in preserving not only the standard façade (or “skin” of the front of the building), but moreover, 1 or 2 additional spans of depth were conserved, and then new high floors were built behind the old building.
When other modern architectural works are renewed, the same controversy occurs.
Simply saying, there are two parties: to conserve it or to demolish it, and they each insist on their own opinions, forcing them on each other. But the “demolish party” is much more powerful in Japan, and for the most part, the “conserve party” is happy when they can succeed in keeping at least the façade of these buildings. But such shallow expression is not enough conservation.
To this point, this Daimaru project succeeded in achieving a new value of conservation.
When we consider that buildings along Mido-suji are allowed to be built higher recently, this new façade of Daimaru with a contrast of “new and old” looks persuasive in this city landscape.
Nevertheless, it is disappointing that the interior has changed its impression.
The famously lit ceiling was reserved, but many graceful Art-Deco ornaments have gone from our eye, and the texture instead has become clean and flat.
The escalators are gathered at the center, and I guess the designer intended to afford us the experience of this “new and old” while going up or down, but it was not a success, and I felt the difficulty of design in this preservation.
After leaving, I walked to Namba and found that another project had been revealed from construction cover. This one, designed by Kuma, is more shocking, but I am not at liberty to make some comments now.
Conservation of modern architecture: we have been discussing about it for a long time, and now again, it might be a good chance to think about it and at the same time think about how it will affect cities like Osaka and Tokyo.
In Osaka, Ike-Fes 2019 will be coming soon… Don't miss it!