Hermés Gion-mise

PrizeWinner in Interior Design / Retail
Firm LocationTokyo, Japan
Lead ArchitectKoichiro Oniki

The site is located along Hanamikoji Street,
which goes through the center of Gion area in
Kyoto city with traditional townscape. We
renovated and transformed a Japanese town
house previously used as a tea house/
residence into a store.
The former building used as a residence was
composed of partitioned small rooms, narrow
hallways and several spot gardens; therefore, it
was required to link those small spaces to make
them function as a store, while maintaining the
framework of the building.
We connected those separately allocated spot
gardens to be reconfigured into an exterior
“alley”, which leads visitors to the shop directly
from the storefront street, to the 1st floor shop
space located along this alley.
In the sales area, a Japanese wood joinery
technique called “Kigumi”, which is often found
in traditional Japanese buildings, is utilized for
furniture and fixture. “Kigumi” is the technique
to apply mortises and tenons on wood pieces
to fit them together without using any nail or
At this site where tradition and innovation
coexist, we intended to produce a kind of
“stage” to communicate and transmit the
voices of various new experiments to the world.