prize winner

Mark Dytham

Pika Pika Pretzel

Tokyo, Japan

December 2000

The Pika Pika Pretzel wall is a temporary building site wall 34m long in Harajuku, Tokyo: on Omotesando, the citys Champs Elysées. It makes a dramatic contribution to the grey and messy streetscape of the city, where ordinary site hoardings are covered with anodyne posters of country scenes, rich in prints of ivy and wild flowers. The architect was concerned to create a fence that would cost little more than a normal one, but would be a memorable and picturesque event.
Pika pika is the Japanese for shiny, and the pretzels are made of the same new high-tech fabric as high altitude, round-the-world balloons. The holes have webs of translucent fabric, which tie the inflatables sides together.
The pierced form of the wall reduces wind loadings and maximizes enclosure with least material. At night, the webs in the holes glow as inflatable elements are internally lit. The jury was impressed by the invention and economy of the idea, by the transfer of technology, and by the walls wit.

Contact: Mark Dytham, Klein Dytham Architecture