A Pit Autobacs Shinonome for the 2019 Golden Pin Design Award


Satoshi Asakawa,

Tokyo, Japan,

Showroom, Commercial Buildings,

Interior Design, Award,

While we’re waiting to learn the winners of the 2019 Golden Pin Design Award to be presented during the awards ceremony in Taipei on 5 December, here is one of the competing projects by the Japanese firm TONERICO:INC. It is called A Pit Autobacs Shinonome - the ultimate paradise for car lovers in Tokyo - and it has been shortlisted in the “Best Design” category.

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A Pit Autobacs Shinonome for the 2019 Golden Pin Design Award Autobacs is a Japanese automotive company that has been making and selling spare parts and accessories for cars since the 1970s - the go-to institution for car lovers. Now, it has teamed up with the Japanese architecture and design firm, TONERICO:INC for A PIT Autobacs Shinonome, a three-storey automotive emporium and heaven for sports car lovers or car enthusiasts in general. Because, unlike lots of other vehicle repair centres and automotive aftermarket stores, A PIT Autobacs Shinonome has expanded its offer to include a beautiful bookstore, Starbucks, and even a toy store, faithful to its mission to be “a pitstop for cars and people”.
The letter “A” is synonymous with high performance, also in the Japanese classification system. So it’s no wonder that Autobacs, spare parts manufacturer, has named its new store in Koto, Tokyo “A Pit Autobacs Shinonome”. The architecture itself is very standout; the ground floor of this glazed grid-style volume is all about the cars and is home to the sleek, streamlined automotive service centre, which features metallic finishes, highlighted by strip lighting. This Premium Pit is also fitted with 29 cameras that livestream to a mobile phone app so that customers can keep an eye on their car while they enjoy a coffee and browse through the books, secure in the knowledge that they can check out what’s happening at any time. The second level is made up of themed areas based on eight different lifestyles, including Garage & Car, Family & Car, and Travel & Car, each of which is partitioned from the others by means of a connecting gallery that encloses the whole floor. The aftermarket accessories are located on the top floor.
While the exteriors of this automotive heaven play with the narrative of racetracks, with lots of arrows and words referencing F1, there are, of course, charging points for electric cars too. The team from TONERICO:INC used the ‘grid’ to define the interiors as well. Lots of metal display shelving is positioned in a grid format and the timber detailing gives the space warmth and sets up a contrast for the customers and visitors as they enjoy everything on offer.  The real innovation at A Pit is the fact that there’s something for everyone, not just the stereotypical “man cave” style usually associated with these places. 
Car enthusiasts can keep themselves entertained and excited at “A PIT” by TONERICO:INC and they can also relax in the centre’s coffee shop and bookstore with family and friends of all ages.  Basically, a response to the increasingly virtual world, with so many people shopping online. A PIT, the first store of this kind in Japan, and the flagship store of Autobacs suggests an alternative, focusing on a much wider audience, not least because of its great design, so people who spend time here can enjoy a pleasant, immersive experience. A place for a break, a pitstop for cars and for people, too.
The project by TONERICO:INC has been shortlisted in the Best Design category of the 2019 Golden Pin Design Award. We’ll find out if it’s one of the winners on Thursday 5 December!

Christiane Bürklein

Design by Hiroshi Yoneya & Ken Kimizuka
Location: Shinonome, Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2018
Images: Satoshi Asakawa
Find out more about the 2019 Golden Pin Design Award: http://www.goldenpin.org.tw/en/project/a-pit-autobacs-shinonome/


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