Shinjuku Park Tower in Tokyo

Photo of Shinjuku Park Tower in Tokyo, Kanto
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Shinjuku Park Tower in Tokyo, Kanto
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Shinjuku Park Tower
Also known as:Park Hyatt Tokyo

3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan
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side from Tokyo Tower, this is perhaps the most well known Tokyo building in the Western world, thanks to the 2004 film Lost In Translation. The building's basic shape is three cascading towers each tapering slightly via setbacks, and topped with pointed forms similar to three-dimensional stars. The top 13 stories are where the Park Hyatt Hotel is, and its famous views of the ever-winking Tokyo skyline. The other 38 floors are occupied by offices, meeting space, a medical clinic, restaurants, and the other assorted businesses typical of a Japanese skyscraper.

In both form and color, this skyscraper works with the neighborhood. Its lower levels reflect the streets around it, and as its upper levels join the growing Shinjuku skyscraper forest, it matches the other major Nishi-Shinjuku landmark: the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, which shares the same architect, Kenzo Tange.

While the concrete and steel form of the building play nice with the neighbors, there are other, less tangible, ways that this building tries to minimize its impact. The three towers are slightly offset from each other, to help reduce wind vortices on the ground. The building is also angled and its footprint is tapered to keep from casting too much of a shadow on a nearby park that is popular with office workers at lunchtime.

Embracing nature isn't only important on the outside. Inside the Park Hyatt, efforts are made to allow water, light, stone, and organic life to infiltrate the space. Granite gives the public spaces an earthy feel while mirrors bring in light or reflect the sky. The warmth of wood is used to make sterile furniture arrangements more attractive, and natural textiles line the walls for a cozy touch.

Quick Facts
Notes
    > This building was built for the Tokyo Gas Urban Development Company.
    > At the time of its completion, this was the second-tallest building in Tokyo.
    > The lobby of the Park Hyatt Hotel is on the 41st floor of the building.
    > The jester sculptures in the lobby are by actress Mieko Yuki.
    > The hotel's interior design is by John Morford.
    > The hotel rooms are paneled with "water elm" from Hokkaido -- trees that are salvaged from the bottom of lakes and rivers. In some cases, the trees were under water for two thousand years before being used for this project.
    > Like many Tokyo hotels, this one has a wedding chapel. It is on the 40th floor.
    > 25 April, 1994 - The building officially opens.
Did You Know?
    > This building played a central role in the Sophia Coppola film Lost In Translation, which was shot here.
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