the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Tokyo's Modernist Gem, Hotel Okura, To Be Demolished

Tokyo's Modernist Gem, Hotel Okura, To Be Demolished

Tokyo's Modernist Gem, Hotel Okura, To Be Demolished
Tokyo's Modernist Gem, Hotel Okura, To Be Demolished, via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Talk about Modernist Japanese architecture, and you can hardly fail to bring up Tokyo's Hotel Okura. Built in 1962 under the design direction of Yoshiro Taniguchi, Hideo Kosaka, Shiko Munakata, and Kenkichi Tomimoto, the hotel has long been a landmark not only for the city, but for Japan. Now, however, the hotel's owners have decided that the main building for the hotel will be demolished in September of 2015, with a new hotel taking its place. To learn more - including how to sign the petition for preservation - keep reading after the break.

The idea of demolishing old buildings has become commonplace in Japan. Natural disasters, acts of violence, and monetary investment are all influences in this trend (for example, the seismic retrofitting of Kenzo Tange's Prefectural Gymnasium proved so expensive, the government was forced to close the gymnasium entirely).

Photo by naoyafujii - http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>. ImageKenzo Tange's Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium
Photo by naoyafujii - http://www.flickr.com/photos/naoyafujii/. Used under Creative Commons. ImageKenzo Tange's Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium

The decision to redevelop the Okura comes from a desire to up potential financial gain before the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo -- despite the city's pledge to use existing venues to host guests for the Games. This is also despite the impeccable state of the hotel, which has remained practically unchanged for the past 52 years. Lobby attendants still wear their traditional kimonos, the "Go" (Japan's version of chess) salon and Japanese garden are still present, and Tomimoto's original lobby mural has been preserved. 

Hotel Okura. Image © Flickr CC User no_typographic_man
Hotel Okura. Image © Flickr CC User no_typographic_man

Hiroshi Matsukuma, the leader of the modernist preservation group Docomomo Japan, has said that the Okura "has a cultural and historical value that can never be reproduced again."  For more information on the hotel, and to sign the petition asking for its preservation, click here.

© Monocle © Monocle Hotel Okura. Image © Flickr CC User no_typographic_man © Monocle + 6

About this author
Connor Walker
Author
Cite: Connor Walker. "Tokyo's Modernist Gem, Hotel Okura, To Be Demolished" 24 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/530414/tokyo-s-modernist-gem-hotel-okura-to-be-demolished/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments