Architecture × Digital Geekery = N Building

N Building in Tachikawa, Japan

With all the technological advances we’ve seen in recent years, if there’s ever been a sign that said “welcome to the future”, it’s the N Building.

This commercial building in Tachikawa, Japan, has a QR code designed on the outside panels allowing cell phone users to take a picture of the 2D barcode (similar to Blackberry Messenger & other apps) and be directed to the building’s website.

Furthermore, users with an additional app installed on their device (only available on iPhone right now), can aim their camera towards the building and be greeted with an augmented reality layer over the building, showing a more interactive display of the the building’s stores, their sales/promotions, and even showing tweets from within the building.

If you’re confused – or amazed – just watch the video below.

Welcome to the future 2010:

N Building is a commercial structure located near Tachikawa station amidst a shopping district. Being a commercial building signs or billboards are typically attached to its facade which we feel undermines the structures’ identity. As a solution we thought to use a QR Code as the facade itself. By reading the QR Code with your mobile device you will be taken to a site which includes up to date shop information. In this manner we envision a cityscape unhindered by ubiquitous signage and also an improvement to the quality and accuracy of the information itself.

December 15th, 2009 we held an opening which included the limited release of an iPhone application made specifically for N Building. If a QR Code is static, what could we do with a dynamic device like the iPhone? Our proposed vision of the future is one where the facade of the building disappears, showing those inside who want to be seen. As you press on the characters their comments made on online appear in speech bubbles. You can also browse shop information, make reservations and download coupons. Rather than broadly tagging, we display information specific to the building in a manner in which the virtual (iPhone) serves to enhance the physical (N Building). Our goal is to provide an incentive to visit the space and a virtual connection to space without necessarily being present.

Project by teradadesign+Qosmo.
Music by Airtone.

88 thoughts on “Architecture × Digital Geekery = N Building

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  5. kev

    I have a friend visiting Japan for 2 weeks. I’m going to send this to him and ask him to take video showing his experience with it. It looks really cool

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