Hotel Okura To Debut in Tokyo
Yoshio Taniguchi reimagines historic hotel, designs new luxury complex
Hotel Okura Co. has revealed plans to rebrand and reopen Hotel Okura Tokyo in early September 2019. The project will involve a restoration of the 1960s flagship’s lobby, as well as the addition of two newbuild towers. The traditional Japanese design aesthetic of the mid-century property will be recreated by Yoshio Taniguchi, son of Yoshiro Taniguchi, designer of the original Okura main lobby. Yoshio, architect of the redesigned Museum of Modern Art in New York, has designed the lobbies of both buildings, The Okura Square, The Okura Salon and select restaurants and bars.
The south-wing annex of the original hotel is the only part that’s still in operation following the demolition of the former structure in 2015, The Japanese Times reports. With a total of 508 guestrooms spread across the two buildings, project participants say the new complex will meld traditional and contemporary luxury. The 17-story Okura Heritage Wing will house the relaunched Yamazato Japanese restaurant and the Chosho-an tea ceremony room, while the larger 41-story Okura Prestige Tower will include guestrooms that begin on the 28th floor. The top two (39th and 40th) guest floors of the latter building will comprise a 2,360-sq.-ft. duplex suite with three bedrooms, a living room with a two-story ceiling and an event-ready theater.
The lobby of the Okura Prestige Tower. Image: Courtesy of Okura Hotel
Legacy decorations from the original hotel will grace the new lobby of The Okura Prestige Tower, including hexagonal Okura Lantern ceiling lights, lacquered tables and chairs arranged like plum flowers, a world map and clock displaying global time zones, and standing paper lamps. A number of other decorations will be reproduced for the new lobby, such as the Four Petal Flowers wall tapestry, a Nishijin-weave silk brocade originally designed by Japanese artist Kenkichi Tomimoto, and shoji paper windows with the Asanoha-mon leaf-pattern lattice work.
“The original lobby designed by my father was extremely popular,” says Yoshio Taniguchi. “I felt a special responsibility to create distinctive Japanese designs that would similarly inspire guests for years to come.”
Additionally, the Okura Museum of Art will return to the property. Originally established in 1917 as Japan’s first privately operated art museum, the space will be home to 2,500 works of art.
“As Leonardo da Vinci said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This is what we’re trying to realize with The Okura Tokyo, a hotel designed on the philosophy of simplicity and elegance,” says Toshihiro Ogita, president of Hotel Okura. “It was sad to put our much-adored Hotel Okura Tokyo to rest, but I’m fully confident that The Okura Tokyo will be equally loved by our worldwide guests and visitors.”
As part of the announcement, the company also unveiled The Okura Heritage brand, a complement to its existing Okura Prestige flag. Renamed The Okura Tokyo, the new complex will mark the hotelier’s first dual-branded hotel, a concept that the company plans to expand going forward.