For the past 16 years, Tokyo's SuperDeluxe has been a place where it felt like almost anything could happen, and it quite often did. So when the venue announced a few weeks ago that it would be closing in January, after its building was earmarked for demolition, the news was akin to hearing that a close friend was about to leave the country.
That it's hard to imagine Tokyo without SuperDeluxe is testament to the unique place the venue has occupied within the city's cultural landscape. When architects Klein Dytham set it up in 2002, they envisaged a place that could be something to everyone: live music venue, gallery, meeting hall, performance space and a lounge in which to enjoy the house-brewed Tokyo Ale.
With its modular furnishings, ample wall space and blessed absence of pillars to interrupt lines of sight, SuperDeluxe's basement location proved more adaptable than venues designed with a more specific purpose in mind. That it was situated in Roppongi, a once disreputable party spot that's now morphed into something more closely resembling Singapore, merely added to its singularity.