Nissan Crossing reimagined as an experiential gallery in Ginza


Nissan Crossing seen from the landmark Ginza Crossing. Photo: Nacasa & Partners

The Nissan Crossing automotive gallery in Tokyo, Japan has welcomed over a million local and international visitors in its first four months since opening.

The design of Nissan Crossing has been recognized internationally by a Jury Award in the Architecture and Technology Category by the 2017 Architizer A+ Awards. The competition received entries from over a 100 countries and represented the best of architecture and design worldwide. Nissan Crossing has also garnered two IDA Design Silver Awards for Interior Design.

Previously known as the Nissan Gallery, the automotive innovation gallery has been in the heart of the landmark Ginza shopping district for over half a century. The gallery has had three previous iterations, two of which involved the complete demolition and reconstruction of the Sapporo building. The most recent reconstruction as Ginza Place was a significant and highly anticipated milestone because of the gallery’s legacy and prominence in Tokyo.

The design delivers an immersive experience, focused on innovation that excites. The two level space brings the thrill of driving back to the streets of Tokyo with a floor to ceiling ‘Virtual Facade’ directly on the Ginza Crossing. Synchronized LED (light emitting diode) mesh screens behind the ground floor turntable and embedded along the entire length of the facade give passers-by an immersive experience from the driver’s seat. Once inside, visitors are inducted into a digital and sensory experience within the showcase of leading-edge automotive technologies.

Each exhibit is seamless with the physical design of the interiors to enhance the visitor experience. The space embodies the aerodynamic qualities of automobiles with sweeping lines and dynamic, continuous forms. Automotive technologies and CNC (computer numerical control) fabrication techniques were employed to develop the complex Spiral forms. The Illuminated ribbon-like elements spatially define the exhibition areas overhead and merge with the walls and floors to create a cohesive environment. A non-linear exhibition design encourages visitors to take a self-directed tour based on their own interests, enriched by an app available on iPads throughout the gallery.

The first floor includes a turntable inside the glass-enclosed Cylinder, the Center Stage area for two vehicles, a curving Concierge desk and a high definition theater. An integrated and concealed hydraulic lift above the main stage allows for vehicles to be moved between floors and exhibited on the stages without compromising on space. Visitors use the adjacent escalators and elevators to circulate between floors. Architecturally, the common and exhibition spaces are continuous and materially seamless to increase the sense of expansiveness of the overall experience.

The exhibits continue on the second floor with an Interactive Wall that allows visitors to explore Nissan’s design legacy, a Spiral Stage for featured technologies and the Cylinder Top turntable. A bespoke Nissan Boutique and Crossing Cafe make up the other half of the second floor. Product offerings are curated and collaboratively designed with local Japanese artists and industrial designers.

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“Nissan Crossing enhances the customers’ experience with state-of-the-art technologies and world-leading interactive features.
Carlos Ghosn, Chairman & CEO Renault-Nissan Alliance

“The theme of the spatial design realized in Nissan Crossing plays an important role in the strong identity of the Nissan brand for subsequent designs of stores and booths of car shows, which will now be globally promoted. Without the elevated creative vision of Eight Inc., this project would not be successful.”
Tsutomu Matsuo, Associate Chief Designer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

About Shabbar + Eight Inc.:

Shabbar Sagarwala is a Canadian urbanist, architect and Principal at Eight Inc., the San Francisco-founded experience design firm responsible for Apple, Nike, Nokia and Citibank environments globally.

Prior to relocating to Dubai to head up the newest Eight Inc. office, Shabbar was Director at Eight Inc’s Singapore studio where he brought several branded environments to completion, including the award-winning Nissan Crossing, United Overseas Bank (UOB) Shanghai Flagship, Singtel FutureNow innovation Center in Singapore, Globe Iconic lifestyle center in the Bonifacio Global City, Manila and Globe Telecom Gen3 Retail Ecosystem and Philippine nation-wide roll-out. Urban-scaled proposals have included the Changi Precinct Innovation Hub in Singapore and Chapel Plaza mixed-use development in Melbourne. Pro bono projects for educational and non-profit institutions have included the INSEAD Creative Garage and Singapore Repertory Theatre renewal.


“Nissan Crossing, “Architizer: A+ Awards 2017, Phaidon

“Nissan Crossing,” Shotenkenchiku (Jan 2017, Vol. 62 No. 1): 96-99, 104
ニッサンクロッシグ:特別車と最先端技術で体感する自動車の未来, 商店建築2017 Vol62: ページ96-99, 104


Nissan Crossing website

“Nissan. Innovation that Excites,” Eight Inc.

Nissan Crossing Experience Centre, Architizer

“NISSAN CROSSING to the future in Ginza”

“Nissan Crossing welcomes one million visitors in four months,” Press Release, Nissan Global Newsroom (1 Feb 2017)

Schmitt, Bertel, “A famous Tokyo landmark returns as Nissan reclaims the heart of Ginza,” Forbes Magazine (23 Sep 2016)