Even if it weren’t for the dramatic, instantly recognizable skyline that plays backdrop to the restaurant, sky terrace, and guestrooms of the Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon, there would be no mistaking the hotel’s home.
Occupying the upper levels of the 38-story Kamiyacho Trust Tower, in the mostly corporate district of Toranomon, the hotel is the brand’s first foray into Japan—a partnership between Marriott International, Ian Schrager, and Mori Trust—and like most of Schrager’s endeavors, it defies categorization. Another is slated to open in the city’s Ginza neighborhood in late 2021, a testament to Schrager’s “close, spiritual connection” with the country, which dates back to 1977, when he hosted fashion designer Issey Miyake’s first U.S. show at Studio 54, the iconic New York club he famously founded.
For the Toranomon property, he shares that icon status with renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who imbued the space with quiet, contemplative moments that soften the bolder Schrager hallmarks. Indeed, Schrager credits this recent project and collaboration with helping to focus the brand. “It’s like a human being finding their personality and becoming who they really are. Kengo is a talented guy. You can hardly imagine these incredibly provocative designs are coming from this restrained, soft-spoken man.”
There is no marked design theme to the Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon. Instead, it appears as though a single Japanese beam has been fired through an EDITION prism, bursting into a rainbow of influences and creative expressions. Layouts are inspired by Buddhist temples, and there are jolts of color, like the cobalt velvet seating in the Blue Room restaurant. In the two-story lobby, a dense assembly of more than 500 plants transports guests from the frenzied city to a space of serenity and order. “We wanted to create a place that foreshadows a new future for Tokyo,” explains Kuma.
There are moments of understated extravagance too: the iconic How High the Moon mesh armchair by Shiro Kuramata greets guests upon arrival, there are walls of obsidian Nero Marquina marble, and a louvered eave surrounds the lobby, bringing a human scale to an otherwise imposing high-ceilinged atrium. “The yamato-bari detailing of the wooden finishes is one of the essences of Japanese style,” Kuma says of the characteristic cladding seen throughout the space. “One of the philosophies that I have always valued is how to create new spaces and experiences while utilizing the Japanese sense of beauty.”
In contrast, the 206 muted guestrooms are divided by lattice screens and feature white-stained oak, a powerful counterpoint to the bank of urban city lights beyond—the views playing a starring role.
Joining the Blue Room and emerald-accented lobby bar is signature restaurant the Jade Room. Helmed by British celebrity chef Tom Aikens, it sits next to the Garden terrace—another area flanked by abundant foliage.“It’s an oasis hanging off the building,” says Schrager. “It’s all part of the alchemy of putting diverse things together. The freedom and liberty that we work with is what makes the product so strong. EDITION can be the most important luxury brand on the planet if it keeps going the way it is now.”
Related: 2021 Development Update: Japan
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