Last month, Cartier Osaka unveiled their new Shinsaibashi location. With roots in Osaka since 2000, the new store embodies local craftsmanship and environmentally conscious design through a spectacular, three-dimensional facade made from 2500 interlocking Masu.
Designed by Klein Dytham Architects and in collaboration with local artisans, 2500 handcrafted masu were assembled along the facade, bringing refreshing warmth to an area of mostly metallic and glass exteriors.
These handcrafted square containers are traditionally made from hinoki wood and for 1300 years have played an important role in Japanese tradition. Masu were originally used as measuring cups for foods such as rice and soy sauce. More recently, Masu has become widely used as a vessel for serving sake, as well as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
Masu are unique because they’re assembled by expert artisans who use traditional joinery techniques to wedge the expertly crafted pieces together without the use of any nails. The facade is a testament to the craftsmanship and sustainability that the Cartier brand stands for as the frame was made from recycled aluminium while the timber was all locally sourced. The facade “comes alive at night, with each of the 2500 masu elements being lit by LEDs,” explains the architects. Here is the exact location if you would like to see the facade for yourself.