Swarovski, the retailer and manufacturer of costume jewellery, opened its first “global flagship” in Tokyo’s Ginza district in March.

Designed as a step up from the high-profile Crystal Lounge & Cosmos that opened on London’s Great Marlborough Street in January, Swarovski hopes that this two-floor, 4,845 sq ft store will help it reposition itself as an upscale luxury retailer.

Externally, the shop front uses thousands of stainless steel prisms arranged over the glass line to foster the idea of a crystal forest. This concept is continued within the store, with crystal used to accentuate much of the internal architecture and fixturing.

The ground floor is dedicated to Swarovski collections, including a range of jewellery – The Ginza Limited Edition – which is unique to the store. Access to the upper floor is via the Crystal Staircase. This area is fashioned from stainless steel and backlit with LED lighting and is filled with faceted crystals, creating the illusion of a cube of light. Alongside the staircase is a 5m crystal structure designed to mimic a waterfall.

Upstairs, among a number of features, there is an installation of ice branches, created from crystal by designer Ted Boontje and a crystalised couch for shoppers to relax on. The shop’s floor is also noteworthy. Composed of terrazzo tiling, it has crystals embedded in it, intended to reflect the directional lighting used throughout the shop. Swarovski said that more than three tons of glass crystal was used to create the store interior.

By John Ryan