Imperial Hotel
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Architect Frank Lloyd Wright
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Location Tokyo, Japan   map
Date 1916 to 1922   timeline
Building Type hotel
 Construction System masonry
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Early Modern
Notes S.194. demolished 1967. rich, idiosyncratic but disciplined cubic ornament.



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Discussion Imperial Hotel Commentary

"But in its scale, and in its play with surprise elements, the Imperial Hotel is completely Japanese. Wright was apparently so struck by the smallest of Japanese things that he made everything in the Imperial Hotel tiny...There were little terraces and little courts, infinitely narrow passages suddenly opening into large two- or three-storey spaces;...And there were many different levels, both inside the rooms and outside the buildings, including connecting bridges between the two long, parallel wings of guest-rooms. Finally, Wright achieved something almost unheard of in hotel design: in this most standardized of all fields of cubicle architecture he succeeded in making almost every guest-room different from every other."

— Peter Blake. Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Space. p69-72.

The Creator's Words

"...I have sometimes been asked why I did not make the opus more 'modern.' The answer is that there was a tradition there worthy of respect and I felt it my duty as well as my privilege to make the building belong to them so far as I might. The principle of flexibility instead of rigidity here vindicated itself with inspiring results."

— Frank Lloyd Wright. from Frank Lloyd Wright. Sixty Years of Living Architecture: The Work of Frank Lloyd Wright. p8-9.


Partially rebuilt at:
Meiji Mura Park
Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, (near Nagoya) Japan

— Thomas A. Heinz. Architectural Monographs No. 18: Frank Lloyd Wright. p141.

Sources on Imperial Hotel

Peter Blake. Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Space. Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books, 1960. Pelican Book A607. NA737.W7B55. p69-72.

Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture 1851-1945. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983. photo of front facade of hotel, p201. photo of aerial view over hotel, p200. cross section looking east, p202. — Available at

Yukio Futagawa, ed. Frank Lloyd Wright, The Imperial Hotel. Tokyo: A. D. A. EDITA Tokyo, 1980. Global Architecture, Books that Matter #53. Text by Frank Lloyd Wright. Color aerial photo of overall site, f1, p9.

Thomas A.Heinz. Architectural Monographs No.18, Frank Lloyd Wright. NewYork: St.Martin's Press, 1992. ISBN 0-312-07243-0. NA737.W7H4 1992. interior color photo of reconstructed vestibule, p81. exterior color photo of reconstructed hotel from garden, p81.

Thomas W. Schaller. Architecture in Watercolor. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990. NA2726.5.S34 1990. ISBN 0-442-23484-8. LC 90-12139. watercolor perspective of exterior, p61.

Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. New York: Facts on File, 1990. ISBN 0-8160-2438-3. NA680.S517. exterior, interior, closeup photos, p67. — Available at

William Allin Storrer. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Complete Catalog. Second Edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1979. ISBN 0-262-19171-7. LC 78-1306. NA737.W7A4 1978. geographic index p15.

William Allin Storrer. The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0-226-77624-7. LC 93-30127. NA737.W7A4 1993. plan drawing.   Available at

Frank Lloyd Wright. Sixty Years of Living Architecture: The Work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Los Angeles: The Municipal Art Patrons and Art Commission of Los Angeles, 1953. NA737.W7A4 1953. p8-9.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Imperial Hotel


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