The building is arranged with topological symmetry between external and internal void, with vertical void structured as a linear continuum. (Design and awareness of nothingness, or the void, is important in Eastern philosophy.)
The building takes a step back away from the street. Between itself and the urban context, there is a garden. The entry sequence is inspired by the long passageway in a Kyo-machiya. The traditional design of latticework in a machiya façade is being reincarnated into a high-tech long corridor, where the guests would be greeted with light and music produced by the latest technology.
Small inner courtyards called “Tsuboniwa” would be placed in a Kyo-machiya, bringing in light and climate control into the long and narrow sites. Such is the traditional wisdom of the people in Kyoto, and this project employs and reinterprets this wisdom.
While traditional gardens are limited to the horizontal ground, the Tsuboniwa here is created vertically, with green plants sown on a wall. Such greenery can be enjoyed from all the rooms, while natural light and wind are being directed to every room from this open void. Rooms in the 6th, 7th and 8th floors, directly facing this greenery, are the most luxurious “Ozashiki” rooms in the hotel.
Rocks laid in the bottom of this vertical Tsuboniwa, and fog is created in between the rocks. A micro aspect of the climate of Japan is being condensed in this small space. The mist changes between summer and winter, with light streaks appearing through the fog at night.
Through these different design efforts, we hope to deepen the guests’s understanding of culture in Kyoto, as well as giving an experience of integration between the past and the future of Japan.
Our wish is for the guests to gain a true sense of Japan.