“Tokyo Review 051” Shibuya area-5
Three-dimensional street in New Shibuya PARCO
Shibuya PARCO, a symbol of the Park Avenue, has been completely rebuilt with three years’ closing and reopened on November 22. In a time when conventional department stores and shopping centers are being pushed by outlets and e-commerce, I went there to see how PARCO changed and what are they aiming for. Although it was a day with cold rain and strong north wind, I walked from the Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station, went up through Spain-Zaka and saw a long queue of people slowly entering the building following instruction by staffs.
Shibuya PARCO had originally opened in 1973. At that time, the front road was called the Ward office street, a little away from the hustle and bustle around Shibuya Station, and adjacent to high end residential areas such as Shoto. Shibuya PARCO was a 6-minute walk from Shibuya Station and couldn’t be said to be in front of the station, but the excellent catch phrases including “Shibuya Park Avenue” had worked well, creating a new flow of people.
It was at the age of transition from a high economic growth to a stable growth. PARCO developed an unprecedented strategy aimed at revitalizing the city based on sensitivity. In fact, it can be said that fashionable people on the streets on the Park Avenue changed the image of Shibuya and created an exciting city just by walking. Maybe it was the time when the younger generation who did not go to Ginza began to express their identity. The scent of a new culture will resonate with so-called cultural people such as copywriters and artists. PARCO is now under the umbrella of J Front Retailing, but the pride of supporting the culture of Shibuya seems to be staying alive.
The new Shibuya PARCO has a structure like piled up building blocks, and it has a volume that combines the previous Part1 and Part3. In the center of the first floor, they created a pedestrian passage named “Naka-Shibu Street” connecting Penguin Street and Organ-Zaka. This passage is just situated on the top of Spain-Zaka, and we will be naturally guided into the building, and the various expressions of the shops on both sides can be seen vividly from this passage.
Nintendo’s official shop “Nintendo TOKYO”, Capcom, Jump Shop for Shonen Jump, etc. are located on the 6th floor, and the 7th to 9th floors are the PARCO theater. It is a “next-generation commercial facility” that proposes experience value such as new stimuli and fun and disseminates information globally. The innovative design of the commercial environment is designed by Benoy, a major UK design firm. Along the perimeter of the building, you can climb up to the sales floor on the 6th floor, the Parco Theater and the Roof-top garden in a spiral “three-dimensional street”. As I climbed the inside by escalators, I felt that the atmosphere of Spa-Zaka and Penguin Street was brought in as if I was walking along the street.
What urban design and architectural design can do is provide a place. And in such a place, it is important what kind of people in what style walk, talk and do, and those things will create a new scenery in Shibuya.