1-21-18 Ebisu-minami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0022, JAPAN
Founded in 2000 by design genius Masamichi Katayama, Wonderwall is now one of the most creative and prolific design agencies in the world.
It is certainly in our top five of the world’s best.
They have long been the darlings of the design press, mainly for their super trendy work for Bape globally, as well as the immaculate food projects in Tokyo, such as the 100% Chocolate Cafe and Tokyo Curry Lab and more recently their concession for Kolor, in Dover Street Market’s Ginza store, which combines a traditional and contemporary aesthetic, with a statement royal blue carpet, attracting attention through each and every feature.
However, we rate Wonderwall the most for the fantastically solid and creative work they do for more commercial brands such as Uniqlo and Nike.
Certainly, their global flagships for Uniqlo, as seen in Paris, New York and Tokyo are at the very vanguard of the trend we call the ‘Push for Posh’ – where fast fashion brands are innovating with design and so changing the very landscape of retail.
Over the past couple of years they have done some great work on malls in Australia; the food court at Westfield Sydney is world class and also the interiors for the glamorous new Emporium Melbourne. Travelling back to Tokyo we see Scye Mercantile, the first boutique for the brand which combines the fashion designer’s love of English tailoring and the ‘mercantile’ storekeeper within a contemporary concept. Also in Tokyo is a redesign of a store for Kolor inside the Dover Street Market in Ginza which combines a striking blue ‘kolor’ carpet to delineate the brand’s footprint with glass partitioning to create a semi-enclosed space, juxtaposed with a contemporary take on very traditional furniture.
However, our two favourite projects are Hyundai Travel Card Library in Seoul and Intersect by Lexus in Tokyo, which reinvents the car showroom as a centre for community and hospitality (and they have just opened their third site in NY- with subtle nods to the car marque). Both are important because they break the mould and show just how exciting retail can be if you let your imagination free.
Nearer to home is the Japan House, a project led by the Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Located in London’s Kensington, it is a stunning piece of interior design, which showcases Japan via large, experiential hubs that combine exhibition and event spaces, retail space, and food and drink areas.