Koshien Hall
Architecture of Koshien Hall

Outline of architecture

The Koshien Hall (the former Koshien Hotel) is one of the few Wright-style buildings remaining in Japan and is a Heritage of Industrial Modernization and a Registered Tangible Cultural Property in Japan.
The Koshien Hall was designed by Arata Endo (1889–1951), a favorite disciple of the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959). The architecture was based on the philosophy of Aisaku Hayashi (1873–1951), who served as the general manager of the Imperial Hotel and was said to be a leading authority in the hotel industry.
At the center are located the entrance hall, the front desk, and the main lobby. The main dining room and the banquet room largely extend to the left and right from the center, respectively. In the upper stories of these wings, a series of guest rooms are arranged in a stepwise manner.
Japanese traditional beauty is embodied here and there, as seen in ornaments with the “uchide no kozuchi (small good luck hammer)” motif, Ryokuyu gawara (green-glazed roof tiles), and Ichimatsu (checkered) patterns on the ceilings of the West Hall. They are well in harmony with the space of the magnificent western-style architecture.

Beauty of exterior space

Backed by the Rokko Mountains, the Koshien Hall is harmonized with the renowned Muko-ohashi Bridge to create a unified landscape. The architecture with Ryokuyu gawara roofing blends into pine groves along the Muko River, providing beautiful scenery that is in harmony with Chisen teien (pond garden) extending to the south.

Main entrance of Koshien Hall viewed from the north

Guest room wing and main entrance viewed from the northwest

Path threading through the southern open garden

Koshien Hall in harmony with Chisen teien in full bloom in spring

Beauty of interior space

The coupling of dynamic spaces is realized through architectural techniques proposed by Wright, who envisioned organic architecture. The interior of the Koshien Hall consists of a variety of characteristic spaces, such as the gorgeous and exotic space of the banquet room and the imposing yet comfortable space of the main lobby that faces Chisen teien.

Ground-floor passage connecting the East and West Halls

East Hall with shell chandelier and beautiful wall decorations

Ground-floor lobby in public space

Fountain with uchide no kozuchi reliefs and small staircase

Beauty of details

Enriched architectural details are one of the attractive points of the Koshien Hall. Relief representations using quaint materials such as nikkaseki (a type of stone) and tiles are indeed kaleidoscopic. The details, including Wright-style geometric patterns and Japanese traditional designs such as uchide no kozuchi and Ichimatsu patterns, provide enchanting sights at every turn.

Jewel-like rooftop decorations and Ryokuyu gawara

Nikkaseki relief of uchide no kozuchi

Wave-pattern columns supporting southern canopy of ground-floor lobby

Mosaic tiles on the floor previously used for a bar