Soaring above the centre of Tokyo with panoramic views of the Imperial Palace, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi has just opened and is poised to reach a new height of luxury in its design statement, with Japanese traditions melded seamlessly with a modern European aesthetic.
The design of the 39-storey tower came about under the master touch of Jean-Michel Gathy, legendary principal designer at award-winning design consultancy firm, Denniston. Gathy skillfully presents authentic Japanese elements throughout the design of the hotel, respecting the country’s culture, traditions and heritage, while incorporating the DNA of Four Seasons. Gathy’s innovative and dynamic design celebrates the cutting-edge creativity and contemporary design ethos of Tokyo. “The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project without a sense of overbearing. We aim to ignite the feeling of a home away from home with an inviting, warm and welcoming atmosphere in the most dynamic city,” the designer revealed.
Reflecting the vibrancy of Tokyo, a traditional Japanese red-orange lacquer box featuring solid timber panels acts as the frame to create the dramatic hotel entrance in the busiest district of Tokyo. Gathy has created an experience of sensory excitement from which travellers will discover the city’s intriguing blend of the ancient and the hypermodern.
To replicate the Japanese aesthetic, Gathy has personally curated a defining art collection to celebrate the distinctive craftsmanship and artistry, which embodies the traditional foundations of Japan. Distinct examples can be found in the combination of the Japanese floral art Ikebana, hanging natural fabric artwork and the timber panel featured at the entrance to awaken the overriding strength of connection between East and West.
Taking the lift to the reception lobby on the 39th-floor, a black and gold colour theme delivers a subtle and warm welcoming atmosphere, while an extraordinary view is revealed through a glass curtain wall fronted by a rock installation on a shallow pond. “To truly respect the tradition and interpret the tranquility of Japan, the water feature serves as a buffer area to deflect guests’ eyes, as it may be considered as discourteous to look straight down into the Imperial Palace,” Gathy says. He led his team to plan scrupulously and strike a balance between the pursuit of aesthetics and the preservation of culture and respect for traditions.
The links between the contemporary West and the traditions of Japan have contributed to the reception area, where guests can discover the hidden details before experiencing the dynamism of Tokyo. In response to the Four Seasons’ core value of “East meets West,” the Japanese calligraphy with the meaning of “season” is harmoniously blended and ingeniously displayed in a typical European pendant chandelier. The Japanese Zen garden subtly sculpted and reflected on a 3-dimensional wall by the artist Pongsatat Uaiklan (Dong) sits behind an elegant Italian cat-leg cabinet decorated with Japanese blocks.
Distinct Japanese touches immerse guests in the local landscape. The multi-dimensional design can be found throughout the 193 guest rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi. Blending the art to the room flawlessly, Jean-Michel Gathy appointed the award-winning Japanese photographer Namiko Kitaura to capture the bespoke flowing fabric artwork displayed as the backdrop in each guest room.
All rooms and suites are tailored for intimacy with an innovative open-plan layout. The sophisticated Japanese aesthetic flows through the interiors which are illuminated by natural light during the day and with bespoke modern light fixtures to reflect the after-dark glamour of Tokyo.
Natural light is also used to full effect in the elegant décor of the hotel’s Chapel, invoking an ambience of romance and peace with distinctive European touches. Offering seamless connectivity to the Grand Ballroom, the Chapel can host not only a wedding ceremony, but all other events, from intimate family meals to gala receptions.
The Grand Ballroom’s windows draw natural light into the spacious interior. The chandeliers and cascading lights echo the beauty of nature and evoke the contemporary transition of Japanese culture. Sharing his vision for the room, Gathy revealed that it was “inspired by the hotel name – Four Seasons. We are trying to reflect the essence of traditional literature and poetry – the Flow of the Seasons.”
Gathy has also applied his deft touch to create a serene sanctuary for THE SPA at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, with a gentle and relaxing colour tone. The massive 3D natural fabric art installations in the spa lobby and pool area billow and sweep outward as if caught in a gust of wind, offering guests a sanctuary of tranquility amidst bustling Tokyo for a journey of rejuvenation, relaxation and the pursuit of well-being.
For more information about Jean-Michel Gathy and Denniston, go to www.denniston.com.my. For more information or to make a booking at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, go to www.fourseasons.com/otemachi.