In Akihabara all façades are comprised of – more or fewer– layers. The actual “space-separating” layer, again, is penetrated or overlaid by various layers of infrastructure. Circulation, heating and cooling and advertising determine the appearance of the building – each at different degrees. The advertisements are used predominantly used as an expression of the building’s character, as well as an outer map of its spatial and programmatic content.
Thresholds + Filters
The facades in Akihabara function as communication device between building and “public” space as much as as filter between “private” and “public” - or simply interior and exterior. The thresholds between street and building work in a similar way. Often the store areas are extended onto the sidewalks, and advertising and goods form a labyrinth that has to be passed to get inside. One gradually becomes a part of the building. Shops and residential spaces work very different from each other in the way the extend (or don’t) onto the street. Some of these “techniques” have been analyzed - as shown on the following pages.