A dual store in Daikanyama, Tokyo.
One half of this bisected store is straight out of 19th-century France, bedecked in precious, richly ornamented woodwork. Concealed by the paneling, a trompe l’oeil door harks back to the subtle pomp of French castles. L’Officine’s entire team of French craftspeople came to Japan for several weeks for the sole purpose of building this chunk of history in accordance with the best practices of the 19th-century.
The store’s other half, like a mirror reflection, was crafted by Japanese artisans. It emanates from the most contemporary aspects of Japan, embodied by its signature material – waxed concrete, which is here shaped with elegance and consummate minimalism. Located on a mezzanine floor, and illuminated by bluish resin windows in which herbariums have been trapped, the store represents the meeting of two worlds, connected by a thin golden line reminiscent of the ancient art of kintsugi. As in a piece of ceramics whose cracks are sublimated by gold rather than concealed, the true nature of the company is made brightly apparent: a genuinely Universal Officine – both temporally and spatially – which, emboldened by its glorious past, does not shy away from any creation or combination.
L’Officine Universelle Buly’s shop in Tokyo is an architectural extravagance – a space that embodies the bridges built by L’Officine between eras and cultures.