T-HOUSE New Balance is Schemeta Architect’s Ode to Japanese Architecture and Innovation

The first floor of the two story building offers a curation of New Balance footwear, fine Japanese teas, and ceramics from local potters, while the second floor is primarily office space. Photography by Kenta Hasegawa.

Traditional Japanese store houses, or kuras—often constructed using timber, stone, and clay—inspired the design for New Balance’s latest concept store in Tokyo. Repurposing 122-year-old wooden kura frames, Jo Nagasaka, principal at Schemeta Architects, created an inviting concept store for the brand, dubbed T-HOUSE New Balance, in the city’s Nihonbashihama-cho neighborhood. Established as part of New Balance’s Energy Project, which aims to drive the brand forward through strategic innovation, the concept store reflects the spirit of modern Japanese hospitality while incorporating elements from the past, such as fine Japanese teas. 

For a contemporary aspect, Nagasaka and his team used nuki—a joinery technique similar to that of a mortise and tenon, to add columns and shelves to the kura’s framework. Photography by Kenta Hasegawa.
An white exterior features sliding doors that open to reveal a mysterious wooded entryway. Photography by Kenta Hasegawa.
Clean lines and brutalist design elements give customers a clear path to follow in the retail space. Photography by Kenta Hasegawa.
Large windows enable natural sunlight to steam into the store. Photography by Kenta Hasegawa.

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