The entrance to ONE@Tokyo is as eye-catching as it is contemporary: more precisely, it’s hidden behind an abstract arrangement of angular wooden planks at the base of a concrete ten-storey tower. Inspired by the concept of an immersive art exhibit, the hotel, in the eastern Oshiage district of Tokyo, is just a few steps from the iconic silhouette of Tokyo SkyTree, the world’s tallest broadcast tower.
The timber display at the entrance is a typical touch by its creator Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who, perhaps unusually, was involved in the design of the entire project, both inside and out. Not only did Kuma design the ground-floor lobby café space with its 15m wooden counter, the plant-filled rooftop terrace and the 142 guestrooms, he was involved in pretty much everything else in between, including the signage, stationary, even uniforms which are clean-lined, collarless Japanese-style black cotton outfits.
There is an industrial atmosphere throughout the hotel, thanks to expanses of natural plywood, diaphanous white curtains, exposed ceilings and large windows, which framing SkyTree views. The rooms – which have free smartphones for use around Tokyo – range from compact studios to more spacious lofts all with a similar aesthetic of wooden walls, angular lighting, square metal sinks and showers.
A highlight, however, are the two tenth floor suites: the Library Suite, with its wall of art and design books plus a large iMac, and the next door Atelier Suite, home to angular dark wood panels, a large table and 100cm TV screen. A tip for bath lovers: the two suites are home to the hotel’s only two bathtubs (deep, white enamel coated cast iron affairs) surrounded by metal and glass walls.