Maison Hermès, the main Asian headquarters of Hermés in Tokyo, is a 13-story-glass brick building inspired by the traditional magic lanterns hanging from Japanese houses. There are 13,000 glass blocks covering the façade of the building. These 45 x 45 cm blocks were specially designed to resist earthquakes and not cause any fires.
The façade of Maison Hermès consists of 13.000 glass blocks, creating the effect of a giant Japanese lantern.
The inspiration for the earthquake-resistant design comes from the traditional Shintoist temples. in which the slabs hang from a large central mast. Accordingly, a stiff metal frame constitutes a fixed core for this structure, and the cantilever slabs hang from it. The central pillars are embedded in the frame, while the innermost ones rest on a viscoelastic material absorbing the seismic shockwaves. In the case of an earthquake, the whole structure can shake; however, it will maintain its integrity.