Showa-era hotel reborn as 17-story edifice, retaining elements from bygone age

A historic building dating back to the 1930s in Tokyo has been rebuilt as a 17-story modern edifice while retaining some elements from the bygone age.

Media were invited to see the high-rise building, named Kudan-Kaikan Terrace, in central Tokyo on Thursday. It has office and conference space, banquet rooms and restaurants.

The building was originally the four-story Kudan Kaikan, a military-related facility built in 1934. When a group of young army officers made a bloody coup attempt in February 1936, a martial law headquarters was set up there to suppress the coup.

After World War Two, Kudan Kaikan was operated as a hotel. It was closed after the March 2011 major earthquake when a ceiling collapsed, killing two people and wounding many others.

Kudan-Kaikan Terrace combines the newly built 17-story structure and L-shaped northern and eastern sections that have been preserved from the original structure.

Their iconic roof tiles in gradations of color between yellow and dark green have been restored with modern technology. The wavy patterns on the walls of the banquet rooms have been recreated manually.

Kajima Corporation has conducted the construction work. Kamiyama Yoshikazu, the head of its construction office, said the latest technologies have been used to restore the artistic magnificence produced by artisans of the 1930s.

The new building's structure is designed to withstand a powerful earthquake with tremor-absorbing technology.

Ito Yuta from Tokyu Land Corporation, the operator of the facility, said that the building is aimed at ensuring safety and security based on the experience of the 2011 earthquake and he hopes it will become a familiar landmark to many people.

Kudan-Kaikan Terrace is due to open on October 1.