The Shiroiya Hotel is a ryokan in the city of Maebashi (Gunma Prefecture) just north of Tokyo. With a rich history of silk production, Maebashi was an important part of Japan’s modernization and for close to 300 years the Shiroiya Hotel supported trade and innovation. In its most recent form, the Shiroiya Hotel occupied a nondescript concrete structure built in the 70s but then closed its doors in 2008. Faced with the prospects of demolition, in 2014 an initiative to restore the structure as part of a revitalization effort began. The new Shiroiya Hotel has now been completed and will begin welcoming guests in December of 2020.
“Green Tower” is an undulating mound of green shrubs and grass
The new Shiroiya Hotel was designed by architect Sou Fujimoto (previously) and comprises two structures: the “Heritage Tower” which is a renovation of the previous building, and “Green Tower,” a heavily contrasting mound of an organic structure covered in shrubs and trees.
“Heritage Tower” boasts a facade covered in artwork by American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner
the lobby of the Heritage Tower, which features artwork by Argentinian conceptual artist Leandro Erlich
The project was spearheaded by the Tanaka Hitoshi Foundation, whos funding largely comes from Tanaka Hitoshi, a Maebashi native and the founder of Japanese eyewear company Jins.
And under the architectural leadership of Sou Fujimoto, the project also secured several well-known artists and designers who contributed in the form of artworks and room design.
a room designed by English product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison
a room designed by Italian architect and designer Michele de Lucchi
a room designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto