Hong Kong-based firm CL3 Architects has recently completed its refurbishment of Shinjuku Prince Hotel
An urban hotel in the heart of Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district, the award-winning team – led by renowned architect and interior designer William Lim – unveiled a modern update for the common areas of the hotel, including its entrance, reception and lobby, as well as its café and bar.
Situated adjacent to a busy metro station, the hotel has been an integral part of Shinjuku since 1977, and is popular amongst local and business travellers. To accommodate the demands of international clientele leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the hotel commissioned CL3 to give the public areas a complete refurbishment.
Drawing on a combination of natural elements from Japanese scenery, the design stays true to the hotel’s original theme of subtle elegance. CL3 has created an indoor Zen environment to contrast the busy streets of the area. The public areas have also been elevated with creative lighting schemes, matched with a refreshing colour palette.
One challenging dimension to this project was that all the common areas are located on the building's basement floor. Over time, the café and retail spaces occupying the 8,300 sq-f space had become unused and outdated, so a complete restructuring of the basement layout, incorporating spaces for the lobby, a casual F&B outlet and a guest lounge, was undertaken. Now, guests are greeted by the new 12-metre-long backlit reception counter, flanked by traditional Japanese shoji screens on both sides. An LED display behind the counter shows a beautiful rolling montage of Japanese scenery, bringing in elements of nature and the four seasons.
Upon entering the new café and bar, guests are greeted with a modern garden box inspired by the curving yet uniform raked lines of a Zen garden. More elements of Japanese design can be found throughout the dining areas, from bamboo panels suspended from the ceiling to the blue and yellow hand-painted wallpaper featuring floral silhouettes of native Japanese trout lilies. The newly-designed guest lounge provides a calming atmosphere for guests to relax, read or have casual social gatherings. Aligning with the overall Zen design, the lounge is dressed in different shades of green, punctuated by a custom-made green carpet patterned with Japanese pine needles.