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Making the most of a cramped odd-shaped lot, Flags knows what it's biggest asset is -- the huge curved facade that presents itself to tens of thousands of Shinjuku Station commuters each day. It combines a number of different materials in a pattern that leads the eye to its goal. Essentially, it's a glass curtain wall with colored lights illuminating the panes of glass. Metal sheets are arranged in a stair-step pattern across the face of the building to give the appearance that they were bolted on. This industrial illusion is reinforced by a dimpled patters in the metal. It wouldn't be a Tokyo depato without billboards. There are two on the facade right now, stacked vertically on the metal facade leading the eye back down to the massive video screen. All of this happens several floors above ground level -- at the same height as the elevated walkway over the JR East tracks. The lower part of the building is inset, revealing its supporting piers and forming a little public space for the flush of rush hour crowds going from work to the pachinko parlors or Shinjuku's red light district, Kabukicho, beyond.
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