Contributing Monkie Julia Ocean
Published on November 19, 2011
Everyone knows space in Tokyo Japan is a rare thing and when you find a little, you don’t dare waste any of it. Space was obviously one of the inspirations for Architect Klein Dytham when he designed his Undercover Lab. A floating black box which seems to hover over the back alleys of Tokyo.
Undercover Lab is a building, which is undercover. Not only is it tucked away in the back streets of Harajuku but the site is also very deceiving. A 10m long narrow driveway leads to a 12m x 12m site at the rear.
The building houses a studio, press showroom, and office. A 20m long hanger rail to show the entire collection of one season was required. This is housed in a black tube running along the only 20m straight line on the site, which extends out over the entrance driveway. This cantilevered tube extends the building’s influence to the main street in a strong but stealth way.
The tube was made to look as anonymous as possible, almost like a shipping container where you have no idea of its contents. The tube also conjures up images of telescopes etc, which give the building a mysterious feel _ nobody knowing what quite is going on inside. So much so that some people may feel intimidated just walking under the tube if they are unannounced.