August 30, 2015

Say goodbye Japan's traditional beauty Hotel Okura Tokyo

After over 50 years of business, One of the world renown architecture if the Hotel Okra is going to come to a close at the end of this Month for a sake of refurbishing and upgrading for Tokyo Olympics in 2020.



Okura is one of the symbols of Japan’s development after the war, It opened two years before the Tokyo Olympic in 1962, and since then has seen a multitude of high profile guests from around the world. It has become a very important piece of national heritage, and a architectural treasure for Japanese architecture.

Over time many Japanese craftsman have worked on the extravagant and detailed interior, adding to it’s timeless modernist riches. The most eye-catching place is the main lobby with Japanese traditional pattens and a high level of craft detail everywhere - the presence of the building is awe-inspiring.

 


Since the planning for demolition of this historical building, Italian fashion brand Bottega Veneta’s creative director, *Tomas Myier, has made a video clip to kick-start a movement to protect the building to save one of his favourite places in Japan.

The decision to demolish the hotel is to make way for a new complex with retail and hospitality, as well as a new hotel that can cater for a larger number of guests. It is so incredibly sad Japan doesn’t work to protect some of it’s iconic architecture - the historic and cultural significance as well as the emotional value of these places in the larger picture out way the financial gain.



One glimmer of hope is that the new development will be designed by Yoshio Taniguchi who is the oldest son of the original designer, Yoshiro Taniguchi.
Yoshio Taniguchi is a renowned designer in his own right and has worked on The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Let’s hope it’s the last time we see a crisis like this in Japan, we need to protect these heritage treasures. We can only hope the new design lives up to the timeless piece created by Yoshiro Taniguchi. Look forward to seeing the result in four years time…

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Main lobby ’s designed by a very famous architect *Yoshiro Taniguchi whom also designed The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

The wall art was painted by *Norikichi Tomimoto who is a living national treasure.



Tomas Maier (Bottega Veneta ’s creative director) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomas_Maier

Yoshiro Taniguchi - http://www.worldarchitecturemap.org/architects/yoshiro-taniguchi

Norikichi Tomimoto - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomimoto_Kenkichi

Yoshio Taniguchi - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshio_Taniguchi

Credits,
This article and photography by Mototsuna Nakamura
Translated by Yuka O'Shannessy 



日本のモダニズム建築の傑作、ホテルオークラ東京


日本有数の高級ホテルである「ホテルオークラ東京」本館の営業が間も無く終了します。
8月末で閉館し、9月から解体工事を開始し、オリンピック開催に合わせ2019年春に再オープンとなります。
ホテルオークラは日本人の復興の象徴でもありました。

東京オリンピックの2年前の1962年に開業、これまで各国のVIPが宿泊し、海外からの評価も高く、非常に文化的価値のあるホテルです。
この素晴らしい建築の中でも、目を見張るのがメインロビー。
日本の紋様が至る所に散りばめられた空間は、その立地条件やホテルのサービスも相まり独特の空気感があります。

建替計画が進む中でイタリアのファッションブランド「ボッテガ・ヴェネタ」のクリエイティブディレクターであるトーマス・マイヤー氏が声を挙げ、保存を訴えたほどです。
メインロビーの設計は東京国立近代美術館などで有名な谷口吉郎、壁画は人間国宝の富本憲吉によるもの。

ホテルオークラの建替は、文化的価値の維持と経済的利益の狭間の中での決断だとは思いますが、実に残念です。
新しいホテルはビジネス階も併設する複合ビルになる予定。
設計は谷口吉郎の長男、谷口吉生。ニューヨーク近代美術館新館も手掛けた日本を代表する建築家です。
是非とも父の意図を受け継ぐ、後世に残る素晴らしい空間となるよう、4年後を期待します。