Steinway & Sons Japan, Ltd., founded in 1997, offers Steinway, Boston and Essex instruments to individual customers, as well as music halls, schools and universities — in addition to technical service.
Steinway’s Tokyo showroom features a dazzling design that seeks to recreate the craftsmanship, philosophy, and beauty of the Steinway with architecture that incorporates the history of Steinway & Sons. A string screen on the façade features 12,000 steel piano wires — the same number of parts in a Steinway — with the same number of wires laid out around the façade. The invisible tension of the strings brings serenity to the space’s atmosphere, as delicate as a Steinway’s assembled mechanics.
Steinway & Sons Tokyo will officially open on May 15, 2017.
‘Our aim was to create a space where clients can feel Steinway’s craftsmanship, philosophy, history, and the beauty of their instruments.’
studio founder, Salt
The Tokyo showroom maintains an air of mystery throughout its space. Hidden doors and secret panels abound, revealing whimsy and wonder beneath its elegant exteriors. A bookcase turns into a hidden door. Seamless paneling, when depresssed in the right places, reveals hidden compartments and closets for tools and supplies. The masking of complex logistics with a pristine finish is of course inspired by the design of the Steinway itself.
The Patent Wall (opposite the Book Wall, celebrating the history, philosophy and vision of Steinway) brings together the more than 125 patents obtained by Steinway & Sons since 1857, impressing Steinway’s cultivated tradition and history with brass plates engraved with each patent with the traditional sand-casting method as a nod to Steinway craftsmanship, with a natural ebony finish.
An intricate woven herringbone floor is comprised of five kinds of wood (beech, bubinga, walnut, maple, and mahogany) used in making Steinways.
The tuning booths showcase Steinways in their best light as pieces of world-class craftsmanship, which can be seen from the outside of the building, day or night. The booths’ walls are made of bubinga and maple, used in Steinways. The soundboard ribs are applied to the wall as a design motif, with the shape of a Steinway as a watermark.
The selection rooms provide a space to select Steinways in a relaxed atmosphere while keeping instruments in their best condition. The walnut floor keeps the entire room to remain part of the piano. The wall is made in maple — with the same design concept as the tuning booth — to enhance acoustics. The slanted walls eliminate acoustic feedback, and buffers at the bottom balance high- and low-frequency waves.
All Photographs by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.