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Malls are rarely the architectural highlights of a city, but the ones in Tokyo are an exception. Most malls in Tokyo are relatively small and very well designed since they concern themselves more with the quality of the building rather than the size. I visited three malls during my trip to Tokyo, all of which have their own distinct character and architectural style. Gyre Located in Jingumae Street in Shibuya, Gyre is a very small, 5-story luxury mall designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV. The highlight of the mall is its asymmetrical façade consisting of glass and black tiles. One of the principles of MVRDV’s design philosophy is sustainability, and this is evident in the building’s strategic circulation (through the use of the “hollows” on the exterior) and vertical structure. MVRDV decided to create a “vertical promenade” instead of the typical horizontal mall since those take up more land. Although…