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A Yen for the Past: Farewell to Tokyo’s Hotel Okura

Yoshiro Taniguchi, who led the group of architects and designers collaborating on Tokyo’s Hotel Okura, also designed the lobby specifically. Its elevator doors are surfaced with silk. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

A bamboo grove outside the lobby casts shadows through paper window screens by Seido Iwata. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Pine clads structural columns. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Sentaro Iwaki designed the side garden to remain green year-round. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

The lobby’s pendant fixtures, mimicking the shape of the beads found in ancient Japanese tombs, have become a symbol of the hotel. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

A patchwork wall covering by Saburo Mizoguchi and Kenichi Shigeoka incorporates silk brocades and damasks dating as far back as the 13th century. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Giving the exterior horizontal forms, recalling Kanazawa Castle, was a suggestion from Hideo Kosaka, director of architecture at Japan’s postal service. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Doors with metal pulls belong to the largest banquet hall, also by Kosaka. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Leaded-glass panels adorn Taniguchi’s Orchid Bar. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Its hammered copper sconces. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

A cedar screen in a hemp-leaf pattern. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Shells lining a screen in the Orchid Room restaurant. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

The front window grille. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

On a wall in the lobby, the original world clock displays the time in cities including Leningrad. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

Taniguchi placed the cloakroom next to a newsstand. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

In Yozo Shibata’s basement arcade, a shop offers kimonos. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE. Photography by Jimmy Cohrssen.

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