Elevator decorated with swatch watches in Ginza

200705230937429370.jpgThe new 14-storey building, named after The Swatch Group’s chairman of the board Nicolas G. Hayek is located in the Ginza district, known to cater to the well-heeled. The grand opening of the building is scheduled on 24th May 2007. This150 million Swiss franc (185 million-dollar) building is designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, iconic for his use of eco-friendly, lightweight material such as cardboard and paper. But unlike traditional department stores with a grand entrance, Ban designed a glass elevator for each brand, whisking customers up to each boutique. The ground floor has open space connecting to the front and back streets, while one of the main walls is layered with green plants.

The first five floors house seven small boutiques including Swatch and its high-end subsidiaries including Omega, Breguet, Leon Hatot and Jacquet Droz. As such, Breguet’s elevator shows gold watches that sparkle in tune with classical music while Leon Hatot’s jewellery reposes on black velvet with smooth jazz in the background.