Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel Tokyo to undergo renovation and expansion

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Imperial Hotel Tokyo, a historic landmark that has been a symbol of Japanese modernization since 1890, is set to undergo a major expansion and renovation. Paris-based firm Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects (ATTA) will be leading the project, with an expected completion date of 2036.

ATTA’s approach to the renovation is rooted in archaeology, aiming to uncover the layers of history that have shaped the Imperial Hotel. They seek to understand the past typologies, civilizations, styles, ornaments, spaces, and materials that influenced the hotel’s iconic design, particularly the Second Main Building, which was designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1923. This deep exploration of the past serves as the foundation for ATTA’s vision of the hotel’s future.

The architects envision the Imperial Hotel Tokyo as a combination of a ‘palace’ for horizontal guest reception and a ‘tower’ that symbolizes human evolution. They aim to create a guest house that pays homage to the hotel’s rich history while embracing the future. ATTA’s design philosophy prioritizes permanence over novelty, depth over surface, presence over lightness, and diversity over simplicity, ensuring that the hotel continues to be a symbol of cultural and architectural significance.

The Second Main Building, which is considered a historical gem, holds a significant place in the Imperial Hotel Tokyo’s legacy. It was once known as the ‘Jewel of the Orient’ and represented the fusion of Eastern and Western architecture. ATTA’s renovation proposal aims to revive the memory of this iconic structure and its significance.

With the expansion and renovation, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo will continue its legacy as a national guest house for international visitors and a cultural hub. The project is a celebration of the hotel’s history and an opportunity to preserve its architectural and cultural significance for future generations.

ATTA’s renovation and expansion project at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo is a testament to their commitment to creating meaningful and impactful designs. With their archaeological approach and dedication to honoring the past while embracing the future, ATTA aims to create a fresh and distinctive guest house that resonates with both the spirit of the past and the aspirations of the present.

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