The architecturally impressive Hotel Okura is slated for a massive remodel, so I wanted to see it before they tore it down. A friend happened to be visiting from out of town, so we decided to make a visit. Some views of the lobby.
We were planning on getting a drink in the Orchid Room, but as you can see it was fully occupied.
So we ended up at the Baron Okura, a wine lounge and cigar room, instead.
Last week I saw in The Japan Times that there was an exhibition on the buildings designed by Kenzo Tange, one of my favorite Japanese architects, near Nogizaka station. Overall it was interesting, however, I would liked to have seen more pictures blown up like these in an outdoor exhibition. The exhibition at Gallery Ma is on until March 28th.
They roast their own coffee beans and have original cocktails and bottle craft beers. It has free wi-fi, but it is a very small space, which is the only drawback besides the location in opinion-I'm not a huge fan of the Nakano Broadway mall, which mostly has game and magna related merchandise and a sort of 60s worn out feel to the premises, perhaps more space like this would change that vibe.
There's an interesting article on contemporary architecture in the latest edition of Metropolis. The picture above from the article is the new Nezu Museum which I will try to visit this winter break.
Just as Tange’s attention-grabbing style set the tone for the late Showa period and influenced countless lesser architects to design their offbeat office buildings, puerile pachinko parlors, and ludicrous love hotels, the present generation has found its guiding light in Kengo Kuma, a kinder, gentler architect whose ideas and growing international renown are exerting an influence far beyond the handful of buildings that he has designed in Tokyo. While Tange and his cohorts expressed the madness of a frenetically growing Japan, so the 55-year-old Kuma and his followers reflect the saner, more somber mood of a post-Bubble—and now post-credit crunch—Japan.
The key points of this new, unselfconsciously Japanese style can be seen at Kuma’s latest building, the redesigned Nezu Museum, located at the front of a large traditional Japanese garden at the far end of Omotesando. The first impression is rather dull—all you can see from the outside is a large tiled roof, surmounting a thick hedge of bamboo. But this effect is entirely intentional, as the architect explained in a recent sit-down with Metropolis.