© nendo / Photography: Masaya Yoshimura

Officially launched late last year by e’quipe, a subsidiary of Japanese cosmetics giant Kanebo, the athletia brand has had a flying start in Tokyo‘s highly competitive retail scene with a prestigious standalone flagship store opening its doors in Harajuku, a popular shopping area in the sprawling Japanese capital. Targeting a young and forward clientele – including men – with an active lifestyle, athletia‘s modern core values include a balance between movement and stillness, inner beauty, and compassion for the environment, and as such, the interior design, created by Tokyo-based architecture practice nendo, aims to reflect these. Situated a stone’s throw away from Omotesando dori, the boxy shape and rigid façade of the two-storey building project a somewhat deceptive image as it has a shallow depth. In order to conceal this and heighten the sense of mystery, nine wooden panels were made to partially block the otherwise unobstructed view of the entire store interior. The panels, crafted from white birch and have been sustainably sourced, have been installed in such as way as if they’re suspended mid-air, referencing athletia‘s aforementioned values along the way. In fact, all materials used have been selected and sourced with the environment in mind. Flax seed oil, pine resin, and sawdust are all bio-degradable elements which make up most of the flooring, and the base of the floor is partially derived from recycled polyvinyl chloride from used agricultural plastic film. Additionally, the counters and counter tops are partially made from recycled materials from a ceramics factory waste. Upon entering the athletia store, shoppers come across product displays, in-store testers, and a consultation area. A narrow staircase leads to the second floor, a space for various events and workshops like yoga, pilates, and aromatherapy courses, and private rooms are readily available for different types of massage.

athletia
4-24-1 Jingumae (Harajuku)
Tokyo 150-0001
Telephone: +81 3 68042802
Daily 11-7

© nendo / Photography: Masaya Yoshimura