Hotel Okura, a Symbol of Japanese Architecture, Rising From the Ashes

07.10.2018

COPYRIGHT 2018 TANIGUCHI and ASSOCIATES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After over six decades of good and loyal service, Tokyo’s Hotel Okura shut its doors in preparation for rebuilding work. This was the perfect opportunity to dust off the foundations.

Designed by architects Yoshirō Taniguchi and Hideo Kosaka, this hotel in the centre of Tokyo is a symbol of the coming together of modernist architecture and time-honoured Japanese craftsmanship. It has welcomed a host of notable figures, including former American presidents Richard Nixon and Barack Obama, as well as many celebrities. The hotel was also famously used as a location in the 1967 James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, starring Sean Connery.

The original hotel opened in 1962, two years before the Olympic Games were held in Tokyo for the first time. This event showed the world that Japan had managed to rebuild itself successfully after World War Two. It was built opposite the American embassy and became so popular with diplomats that some referred to it as ‘the annex’. But in spite of its popularity and attempts made by supporters to save it, it was completely demolished in 2015.

The hotel will be rebuilt following initial plans for 2019, and will comprise a large tower with 38 floors housing 510 rooms, that is 102 more than the former Okura. There will also be 18 floors of offices, with the total cost estimated to reach 735 million euros. The builders have promised to ‘faithfully reproduce’ several decorations and features found in the lobby, including wall tapestries, paper lanterns and sliding doors, as well as lacquered furniture. There will also be a new bar, which will seek to recapture the retro-chic ambiance of the former Orchid Bar, an elegant and dimly lit space.

COPYRIGHT 2018 TANIGUCHI and ASSOCIATES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

COPYRIGHT 2018 TANIGUCHI and ASSOCIATES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

COPYRIGHT 2018 TANIGUCHI and ASSOCIATES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

COPYRIGHT 2018 TANIGUCHI and ASSOCIATES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED