Sendai Business Hotel was built in 1972 in the central business district of Sendai,
near the prefectural and city offices.
The city of Sendai has had its ups and downs, with major events such as the earth quake of 1978,
the burst of the financial bubble in the 90’s and the most recent Great East Japan Earthquake,
but Sendai Business Hotel has continued business and continued to change along with the city of Sendai.
And now, after 46 years of business, Sendai Business Hotel is about to undergo another transformation.
Thanks to a strong economy, within a few years of opening Sendai Business Hotel grew to be an extremely popular hotel, some nights having to turn away 30 to 40 customers due to a lack of rooms. Given this situation, it was decided to enlarge the building in 1983.
Ever since, Sendai Business Hotel has continued transform to meet the needs of each era.
At times, it had a public bath, a bar and even a mah-jeongg parlor, but as the needs for business hotels became limited to a simple stay, these spaces have been converted to other uses.
Coffee shop, 1973
Public bath, 1973
Snack bar “Ikoi”, 1975
Coffee shop, 1983
This is a joint project with the Watanabe Lab. of Hosei University, School of Architecture, led by professor Makoto Watanabe. Professor Watanabe has experience in a wide range of projects, from private houses to public projects. The goal of this project is to renovate the select rooms and propose a new image for a business hotel as being “bright and well-designed” while also showing respect to history and heritage.
Through a series of brainstorming sessions, the university and graduate school students came up with their own ideas, from which 4 were chosen to be realized.
In an age where the alternative options to hotels such as dormitories and Airbnb are becoming more common, this is also a challenge to rethink the possibilities of a hotel.
Each room was designed to show respect to local tradition and heritage, using themes such as bamboo decorations, shoji (paper sliding doors), Kokeshi dolls, and the combination of old and new.
The theme of this room is bamboo, which has a strong connection with Sendai. It can be seen in various parts of the city’s history, such as the bamboo decorations at the Tanabata Festival, the lanterns at the Taketomori Festival, and Shinotakezaiku. The room is wrapped in various types of bamboo materials. Especially the “Yatara ami” weave seen above the bed is custom made by a bamboo craftsman and a work of this size cannot be seen anywhere else.
The theme of this room is “Shoji” (a paper sliding window or door). By separating the spaces for work/preparation and rest with shoji pannels, this room aims to provide a space that feels more like home. Also you can enjoy the gradually changing light through the shoji panels.
The theme for this room is a “Kokeshi” doll. White wood like the mizuki wood used to make kokeshi dolls are used in this room. You can feel the warmth of wood in various parts of the room such as the floor, partition, bench, and table.
The theme for this room is “dirtiful”. It aims to change something dirty to beautiful, by combining new and old. The shelves are made of OSB plywood, the floors of raw concrete, and the ceiling of a metallic looking coating, giving it a very cool, and modern look.
The common bathroom is a shower and bathroom like what you would find in an airport lounge. The space is half of a standard room, so you can enjoy a more comfortable shower experience.