Nichii Obihiro Department Store

  • Climatically similar to Siberia, Hokkaido's image is that of an ever-present winter in which snow seems somehow to fall horizontally. Ambasz's design for a new two-and-a half acre department store creates a perpetual spring-like garden within this otherwise bleak environment, where people can gather under a glass skylight to look at plants, listen to water cascades, and stroll along walkways in the courtyard around which the building is organized. The local building ordinance only tyically allows 23,OOOSM of retail in this area, but as a reward for the civic-mindedness of this building, the client was allowed to construct over 58,OOOSM of shopping, thereby significantly increasing the profitability of the entire venture.

project information

location:   Hokkaido, Japan
client:   Nichii Hokkaido Corp.
cost:   $130 Million
date:   1987
area:   450,000 sq ft