Published on : Friday, July 13, 2018
A modernist hotel in Tokyo, Hotel Okura that featured in 1960s James Bond film “You Only live Twice” is in developmental stage to be more earthquake-proof. This new hotel will be reopening in Tokyo next year.
It has now been announced by the management that the new 508-room hotel will reopen as The Okura Tokyo in September 2019.
Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi is designing some of the main guest areas in the new hotel, including the lobby, which will be an updated version of the lobby his father Yoshiro Taniguchi designed in 1962 for the original Hotel Okura.
Ian Fleming’s Bond novel was published two years after the hotel opened, and the author had the British spy stay at the Okura. When it was turned into a film starring Sean Connery as 007 in 1973, the hotel’s lobby starred as one of the sets.
The decor saved from that 1960s lobby, such as the distinctive hexagonal lanterns and the world map that displayed global time zones will be reinstated, along with the lacquered tables and midcentury chairs that are designed to be arranged like the petals of plum tree blossoms.
Japanese ceramicist Kenkichi Tomimoto’s woven silk wall tapestry will be “faithfully reproduced” in the new lobby, as will the shoji paper windows with their Asanoha-mon leaf-pattern latticework.
From the outside, however, the hotel will look very different from its low-lying modernist predecessor. A glass skyscraper will rise 188-metres above Tokyo as the Okura Prestige Tower, with guest rooms starting on the 28th floor of the 41-storey building.
On the fifth floor Yoshio Taniguchi will recreate the atmospherically low-lit Orchid Bar, a former favourite of diplomats from the American Embassy nearby.
There will be new fine dining restaurants and banquet facilities. Next door the Okura Heritage Wing will be 75-metres high, and will house reproductions of the Yamazato Japanese restaurant and the Chosho-an tea ceremony room. The new entrance, called the Okura Square, is also being designed by Yoshio Taniguchi and will include a large water feature.
Earlier this year Schemata Architects restored a 1970s capsule hotel in Tokyo, combining contemporary details with retro items such as the sleeping pods themselves.