MUFG Shibuya / 2004
7,000 Square Meters
Calm in the Shibuya Storm
In 2004, NMDA was recruited by Sy Chen and Rick Seireeni of Creative Intelligence Associates (CIA) Tokyo and Los Angeles to collaborate on a major brand redesign for the Mitsubishi United Financial Group (MUFG) of Japan. CIA, long known for their innovative work in business development and brand identity, provided a conceptual framework for NMDA to pursue its customary forward thinking architecture. The brief was to reinvent a new spatial and atmospheric world for MUFG, the world's largest banking institution. Based on the program of the Private Banking Office (PBO), a salon style delivery of financial consultation services, NMDA's work across five separate commissions explores aspects of industrial design nuances at the scale of architecture.
The first project in the series is located in the center of Tokyo across from Shibuya Station. With 20,000 sf and a new street facade, it occupies the lower 2 floors of a major Mitsubishi building. The first floor contains a huge ATM hall and general banking counters. The second floor has more private banking functions such as consultation rooms and lounges, stock trading counters, and safe deposit box access. The design of the façade presented here magnifies the flatness of patterned glass (only 20cm in depth was available) by contrasting it with an entrance vestibule that is like a vertical event horizon, a form completely based on human dynamics. Indeed, with 10,000 people per day using the bank, the entrance is a device designed to maximize flow.