Tokyo meets New York: architecture as fusion
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Tokyo meets New York: architecture as fusion

Kimpton Shinjuku Hotel

Rockwell Group

Tokyo meets New York: architecture as fusion
By Editorial Staff -

The American translation of Japanese expression Okaeri is “Welcome home”. At the Kimpton Hotel in Tokyo, designed by New York firm Rockwell Group, two cultures meet in a dynamic fusion of styles and motifs. The 160-room, five-star hotel opened its doors last fall in Shinjuku, the skyscraper district that is the beating heart of Tokyo’s economy. The interior design explores the past and future of this capital of the East through an eclectic approach to custom furnishings, materials and colors.

Rockwell Group was founded in the 1980s by American architect and designer David Rockwell. Since then, it has built up an extensive portfolio of international hospitality industry work, and an interdisciplinary team of 250 professionals who work at its offices in Manhattan Los Angeles and Madrid.

On arrival, guests at the Kimpton Hotel are greeted by a three-dimensional lobby wall; on the first-floor, “The Jones” bar’s name is picked out in a neon-lit sign that mimics the neighborhood lights. By day, visitors stop in here for a coffee, open their laptops on one of the small tables and settle into the large, padded seats in warm colors. Of an evening, the marble bar counter with its high stools comes into its own.

The second floor is home to the “District” brasserie, a contemporary multi-level space with an open kitchen and a terrace from which to admire the city. The restaurant’s blue-hued walls showcase a collection of local artworks. The same hue is echoed in its chairs, while leather sofas offer a counterpoint in brown and beige. The restaurant tables are made of inlaid wood; brass details abound throughout the space.

The vibrancy of the hotel’s common areas transforms into a more intimate vibe in the bedrooms, where the designers went for a neutral color palette and natural materials. The wall that acts as the headboard of the bed is faced in timber boiserie with a floral metal inlay that is a modern revisitation of Ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of floral composition. The striped fabric sofas, on the other hand, are inspired by the orderly chaos of Tokyo’s pedestrian walkways, not least the iconic Shibuya intersection.

The hotel also features a fitness center, conference rooms and, on the 16th floor, a wedding chapel where three-dimensional wood paneling dialogues with stained glass and marble flooring. Next to this space, a lounge offers guests a chance to hang out and enjoy the panoramic views.

At the very top of the building, the 17th floor hosts a ballroom and bar, its structural steel elements framing the space and supporting a pyramidal skylight. Here, concrete and wood blend together to create the illusion of a skyline, while the bricks create a New York City-style loft atmosphere. Last but not least, the cocktail bar was conceived to be like a jewelry box in purple, brass and copper tones.

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Client: Kimpton Hotels / IHG
Completion: 2020
Gross Floor Area: 13,200 m2
Interior Design: Rockwell Group
Main Contractor: Shimizu Corporation
Interiors Contractors: SPD Mei-ji, ZYCC

Photography by Yoshihiro Makino, courtesy of Rockwell Group

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