Sunday, May 19, 2013

Color to the Max

Urban Interiorities by Virginia Melnyk and Tiffany Dahlen
This Japanese nightclub's candyland concept was drawn from Japans colorful youth and fashion culture centered in Harajuku, a neighborhood in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, Japan. Harajuku is world famous for its colorfully maximalistic street fashion, so building a night club which would cater to these adventurous tastes was definitely a challenge. Designed by Tiffany Dahlen and Virginia Melnyk, American architects and both recent graduates from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, the building houses a dance club and also contains a restaurant, bar, and several lounges. 

Harajuku street fashion
Melnyk and Dahlen were asked to create a whole "new approach to the night club experience." When asked about the project Melnyk described the inspriation thusly. "It is not by chance that the project looks sweet like Candyland — much of our inspiration came from the sensations of taste and our perception of a visualization of these sensations. It is our hope that this project will push boundaries and leave viewers with a wider imagination of what architecture and design can be.”

The buildings use of color and texture is groundbreaking. Called wacky by many, this nightclub is braver and more visually satisfying that most. Aided by ever advancing computer aided modeling and rendering techniques, the pair generated undulating petal-like surfaces that go beyond just a visual experience and seem to elicit the smells and taste as well. Each flavor of texture fades at its edges like an evaporating scent just before the next colorful texture kicks in and the senses are once again invigorated.

More than just maximalism  this building  embodies another important aspect of Harajuku fashion. With little distinction drawn between what clothes are supposed to be worn by men and which by women this fashion style goes a long way toward the elimination of cultural gender boundaries, similar in effect to the newly cross gender audiences of shows like Adventure Time and the recent anime-like reboot of My Little Pony.  This building does away with distinctions of gender, the distraction of being feminine or masculine, cute or serious, and instead is just visually interesting.  It kills that old fashioned idea that anything made by women or associated with women is niche, by women for women, while products, shows, buildings made by men are universal, for everyone. The building is a feat of form and function, audience and creators all wrapped up in one stunning package. 

- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio


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