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NICHII OBIHIRO DEPARTMENT STORE

HOKKAIDO, JAPAN (1987)


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 typically allows 23,000 sq.ft. of retail in this area but, as a reward for the civic mindedness of this building, the client was allowed to construct over 58,000 sq.ft. of shopping, thereby significantly increasing the profitability of the entire venture.



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