Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “lost” works. The images here from my collection are all from 1949 and show the exterior of this masterpiece.

Wright’s design lasted from 1922 until 1967, when it was demolished to make way for a new structure. While Wright’s design was beloved, the engineering (specifically the foundation) had some flaws that caused the building to sink over the years.

Most of Wright's building was destroyed, but the central lobby wing and the reflecting pool were taken apart and reassembled at The Museum Meiji-mura in Inuyama, near Nagoya, where they are open to the public. From their website:

Beautifully located on a hillside facing Lake Iruka, it occupies an area of 1,000,000m2, where currently over sixty Meiji buildings have been brought and rebuilt. Meiji was a period in which Japan opened her doors to the outside world and laid the foundation for Modern Japan by absorbing and assimilating Western culture and technology.

A few more shots from my collection of the original building as it looked in 1949:

I received an email from the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust the other day that a video showing the exterior AND interior of the hotel was available to see. Two years in the making and based on a Japanese publication of original plans and historical photos, Frank Lloyd Wright: The Lost Works - The Imperial Hotel is a comprehensive digitally-animated recreation of the exterior and interior of this masterpiece. It is pretty incredible to be able to “visit” this masterpiece:

See more Frank Lloyd Wright architecture photos at my main website.


Fifthrider said...

Thanks for this. What a great video. I never wanted to say anything about it before but with Wright's leaning towards heavy brick/block buildings I always wondered how they didn't sink. As this video said, it had a floating foundation but that obviously didn't save it from an early demise. One would have thought a castle as this would last for hundreds of years.

The time and detail that went into making that video must have been immense.

Darryl said...

Makes me think of the Mission Inn

Chuck said...

If only they would do a digital recreation of lost Disneyland...

Daveland said...

Chuck - There is the model at the WD Family Museum, which is KIND of a recreation. I have seen virtual recreations of the WDW Mr. Toad; I'm sure those exist for a number of other attractions, too.