Friday, July 22, 2011

Flamme d' Or

We have been talking a lot about last July when we went to Japan for Mr. W's brother's wedding. I wrote about it a little bit last summer, but didn't post much about our good adventures. One of them was seeing Flamme d'Or. I only had three things I had on my vacation check list: 1)go to a real Japanese style tea ceremony,2) Go to the flagship Mikimoto store in Ginza, and 3) see the Phillipe Starck building.
I have a soft spot for the Post Modern architects and designers. My favorite is Michael Graves because my first introduction to him was when he designed the Portland Building. My second favorite is Starck. I love his iconic spider shaped juicer. I have a Book called Places for Tea in New York city and I went to as many as I could while I lived there among them the Hotel lobby designed by Starck. I loved it, it is not your typical tea setting.
His building in Tokyo is home to the Asahi Beer company. On the first level there is a restaurant. It is located on the opposite side of the Sumida river so we got off the subway at the Asakusa stop and had to walk across the bridge in the drizzle, but his allowed for more photo opportunities. We visited a few Shinto shrines in that area first and then came back to dine in the restaurant so I could get some interior shots too.
A cemetery we just happened upon smack int he middle of houses and shops.
An offering of beer.I didn't get a photo of the main part of the dining room because there was a large group of businessmen and I didn't want to be an ugly American. The restaurant has a serpentine shape. The entire length of one wall is covered in upholstered panels.There is a little station near the entrance where the staff has their supplies. Actually there were a lot of stations like this trhough out the restraunt tht were simply carts, not very Post Modern and certainly not something of which I think Monsuier Starck would approve. But I do like this big, bulbous column treatment. A better view of the upholstered wall and leather banquet, the table and chair. The edges of the tables are angled so that they can be butted together.A detail of the feet on the banquet which reflect the shape of the flame on the top of the building. You can also see that this leather has been well worn since 1989.And then there was the bathroom. Starck's bathrooms are always awesome and this one did not disappoint. The walls were undulating stainless steel and it took some time for me to figure out how to get into the stall. Then once inside it I discovered a Japanese style floor toilet. This was the only one of this kind I found while on this trip to Japan. So I was reminded of our trip to Turkey when I last used a hole in the floor, and this was by far much better looking. Dare I say beautiful? The walls opposite the stalls were frosted. The basin for the sink was beautiful, creamy onyx. There was no lever for the faucet, not did it seem to be motion activated. I finally figured out what those random circles on the floor were for, a foot pedal for the water. The hand dryer was a metal box floating on 3 legs. While we were there Our Little Helper fell asleep on the banquet; the poor thing fell asleep nearly every afternoon and slept through dinner because his little body was unable to adjust to the time change. There were stairs to a second level of the restaurant which I didn't get to go see because he was asleep in my lap. However I loved this space and I am glad that I drug everyone there to see it. My brother in law told me that the Japanese have nicknamed this building the Golden Turd. I don't like that one bit though.

1 comment:

  1. It's also one of the few places one can get a decent Japanese beer in Japan! How can one country consume so much Asahi Dry?