On March 26, 2016, in the basement of the Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo, the concept store ‘THE PARK•ING GINZA’ with direction from Hiroshi Fujiwara opens. Why Ginza? What is the origin of the ‘PARK•ING’ name? With the new project following on from the closure on March 21 of ‘the POOL Aoyama’, we heard from Hiroshi Fujiwara about the outline and aims of this new store.
Photo, Masaharu Arisaka | Edit & Text, Issey Enomoto
The reason ‘PARK•ING’ follows on from ‘POOL’.
—Can you tell me about the how ‘THE PARK•ING GINZA’ began?
In terms of origin, it was a while ago but when I was parking in the basement car park, for some reason there was a Chinese restaurant on the same floor. Not directly connected to the car park, it seemed strange put a restaurant there like that. Why have a Chinese restaurant in a place like this? That question left a strong impression, and the memory of it always stayed with me.
And then much later, I opened a pop-up shop at Shinjuku’s Isetan Department Store last June (2015) with the theme ‘POOL BAR’ from ‘the POOL aoyama’, but then I suddenly remembered the Chinese restaurant in the Ginza underground car park. On my radio programme I mentioned that “it seemed interesting if I do another shop to do it under the theme of ‘MOTOR POOL’, once there is somewhere in an underground car park to stage it.”
And then the people from SONY happened to be listening in and got in touch to say, “the basement in Ginza’s Sony Building is vacant, are you interested?” We checked it out along with Araki (Architect, Araki Nobuo), and agreed “it’s an interesting property”, and this is where the project began.
The location is the former site of a long-established French restaurant.
—Speaking of Sony Building, it’s quite a landmark in Ginza being built on the number one prime location that’s the Sukiyabashi intersection.
From what I hear, it seems to be the building’s 50th anniversary this year. But, looking around the area again, it didn’t seem that old a building.
—‘THE PARK•ING GINZA’ is opening on the third and forth basement level. What was there originally?
‘Maxim’s de Paris’ restaurant, though I never went (Note: the long-established restaurant opened in 1966, and closed in 2015).
—‘the POOL aoyama’ interior was renovated taking advantage of the interior pool feature of the vintage apartment. What’s the interior concept for ‘THE PARK•ING GINZA’?
As the name suggests, the theme is ‘the parking lot’. Whereas the previous interior for ‘the POOL aoyama’ had the faint impression of living space, now the previous restaurant has been stripped back to a skeletal state with the interior made as it was originally, as if a car park.
In addition to the store, a legendary cafe will be resurrected.
—How have you arranged each floor, on the third and forth basement levels?
B4 level is the shop equipped with a variety of brands. For example, ‘Nike’, ‘retaW’, ‘Denim By Vanquish’, and ‘NO.813’ from Toru Nishiyama. Some are permanent with others replaced over a period of time.
And B3 level is ‘Cafe de Rope’ and ‘Bonjour Records’. I often went for tea breaks at ‘Cafe de Rope’ in Harajuku during the ‘70s. Re-opening it this time, I was conscious of leaving traces from that time in the new layout. I think someone familiar with it back then will feel nostalgic.
This interview took place in ‘Cafe De Rope’ as it prepared to open.
—Still, the location in Ginza was a real surprise. What kind of area is Ginza for Hiroshi?
Well, there are a lot of old and well-established places that still remain unchanged, with new things continuously being born: I think it’s a really interesting area. And there’s ‘Sony Plaza’ in the Sony Building, with a lot of stuff that back then you could only buy there, including a mixture of goods and confectionaries from overseas. I also think ‘THE PARK•ING GINZA’ has quite a few things that can only be bought there, so by all means please drop by.
It should be noted that from April 2, 2016, ‘Ring of Colour’ will curate the television programme ‘TOKYO CALLING’. There, the full picture of ‘THE PARK•ING GINZA’ will be explored from a variety of viewpoints. More details will follow shortly, so stay tuned.
THE PARK•ING GINZA
Tokyo, Chou-ku, Ginza 5-3-1 Sony Building B3F
Opens March 26, 2016
• On-air: TV Asahi (Kanto / Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama, Toshigi, Gunma)
Every Sat. 24:09 ~ 24:15 (from Sat. April 2)
• Full documentary: BS Asahi
May 5 (Thu) 23:30 ~ 24:00
- Others (Life)