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UUfie Leans into Surrealistic Design for a Shoe Store in Shibuya, Japan

Marcomonde's socks "climb" the steps. Photography by Takumi Ota.

Contemporary Japanese footwear brand Marcomonde just landed its first retail space in fashion-forward Shibuya’s PARCO luxury department store. Working with just under 215 square feet on the fourth floor of the building, Canadian architecture and design firm UUfie conceived the space to be centered around a free-standing, abstract, geometric sculpture. Seemingly taken from an M.C. Escher sketch, a staircase to nowhere combines playful surrealism with retail display.

Walls, floors and panels throughout have been uniformly finished with a durable, epoxy-resin mortar containing gray undertones that showcase the color, pattern, and detail of the products on display. The shelves are made of stainless-steel pipe and high-translucency clear glass that complement the building’s existing infrastructure, adding to the store’s illusive aesthetic.

Clothing items hang from industrial piping. Photography by Takumi Ota.
The interior of the stairs are deceptively hollow, ideal for storage. Photography by Takumi Ota.
The space without merchandise. Photography by Takumi Ota.
The minimalist aesthetic creates intrigue, attracting shoppers. Photography by Takumi Ota.

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