OMA and Shohei Shigematsu revealed images of Harajuku Quest

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Harajuku Quest

The Harajuku Quest, designed by Shigematsu Shigehei and OMA New York, represents a new commercial and cultural hub in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. The structure is located between Omotesando and Okuharajuku, the building is the latest phase of NTT’s “With Harajuku” program, a larger urban development aimed at increasing regional foot traffic through a series of plazas and business districts.

Harajuku Quest plans to attract people from Omotesando and Okuharajuku to the event and is the first attempt to connect the two regions. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

Harajuku Quest

The urban character of Omotesando is distinct, with a clear axis avenue in an area defined by meandering non-linear streets. Wide walkways lined with beech trees, as well as attractive commercial facilities, including flagship stores of well-known brands, define the urban corridor. In retail buildings, the growing need for brand expansion has led to a rapid expansion of building sizes.

Just north of Omotesando’s main urban corridor, Okuharajuku offers a more intimate experience space, more akin to a “village” townscape, with organic streets and pleasantly scaled buildings, and independent shops.

Harajuku Quest

The new building responds to both contexts by creating a single volume that is adapted and integrated to respond to different characteristics and comply with local zoning regulations. On the side facing Omotesando, the façade is squeezed and pulled to create a sculptural expression, while the side facing Okuharajuku has steps set back to create a habitable façade. This gesture also helps to reduce the perceived scale of the building and allows various open spaces or programs to extend towards Harajuku.

Harajuku Quest

Shohei Shigematsu, OMA Partner, said, “The conjunction of Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku embodies a duality of urban context as well as Tokyo’s fashion and retail culture. It was essential for the new building to bridge the two areas and express two stories. Like two sides of the same coin, a single building conveys alternate personalities, connected by a new public corridor. Harajuku Quest acts as both a visual and programmatic convergence point of Omotesando and Oku-Harajuku—a gathering place where visitors can experience the activities and aura of global fashion and local cultural scene simultaneously.”

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