by Zohra KhanMay 28, 2022
An architectural statement, not by form, but by its striking use of spectral colours and hues: the Toggle Hotel by Klein Dytham architecture has its mission statement set at standing out, at being its own veritable advertisement. Like a jester in a crowd of mimes, the hotel’s façade infuses its immediate, nearly tedious context of Tokyo’s grey concrete forest with a layer of dynamic, two-toned striations. Its interiors, however, take that chromatic effect, and multiply it many fold. Through unusual visual symmetry in minimalism, and rainbow coloured accommodations for its guests, Toggle does more for pleasing the senses than simply helping the weary traveller toggle between an ‘on’ and an ‘off’.
The innovation in design begins at accommodating the building on a triangular site, flanked by the Metropolitan Expressway over an extension of the Imperial moat on one side, and the Chuo railway line on the opposite side. Being at the metaphoric and literal juncture of three high density, high-speed modes of transit for Tokyo, the building stands at an important visual site. Described as being amid a “non-descript urban jungle”, Toggle Hotel operates to reflect it, as well as defy it. While the building essentially retains a quadrilateral shape, curved at the tip corresponding to its triangular site, its longer sides mimic the horizontal movement of cars and trains passing it by periodically.
Tracing the dynamism of Tokyo’s express speed urban infrastructure, its continuous window bands in yellow and concrete grey are a statement unto themselves, serving reminiscence to the commonly identified graphic patterns on the expressway. "The architecture and interior of Toggle Hotel is all about movement and colour," aptly states the official release. Despite prior approvals from the city council two years ago, the project’s implementation and completion this year opportunely line its dominant colour scheme up with the two Pantone colours of the year.
The interior design and decoration of the hotel too spell minimalism and economy in design, but opulence in colour. More than half the rooms in the hotel have loft-type beds integrated into the layouts to allow three people to stay in a room. Each floor of the hotel has a different, dominant colour scheme that floods its interiors in geometric parts, reflecting in lobbies, common areas, rooms, as well as the bathrooms. Apart from the room type, from 10 different typologies and sizes starting at nearly 70 USD, guests are also encouraged to select their preferred colour combination of rooms, subject to availability and floor preferences.
The hotel’s colourful, fun approach in design is also reflected in its legibility as its own visual attractor and identity. KDa worked with the graphic design team at Artless who developed the logo, graphics, and branding for the hotel, in keeping with that identity. The two-colour combination is likewise also reflected in the loungewear for the rooms.
Glazed on three sides, with the fourth being dedicated to service, the reception lobby of the hotel is unusually located on the top floor of the building, also housing the café and the main social hub of the building. Its strategic location along major routes of transit as well as the 50,000 set Tokyo Dome located nearby lends itself to a sizeable guest audience for the hotel.
Name: Toggle Hotel
Location: Suidobashi, Tokyo
Architect: Klein Dytham architecture
Co-Architect: Irie Miyake Architects and Engineers
Site Area: 544.10 sqm
Building Area: 387.71 sqm
Total Floor Area: 3219.14 sqm
Structural Engineers, MEP: Irie Miyake Architects and Engineers
Graphic Design: Shun Kawakami & Artless
Lighting Design: Daiko Electric
Contractor: Kitano Construction