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The new hotel designed by Kengo Kuma is harmonious with its environment and in quiet dialogue with Kyoto’s past and future legends

Kengo Kuma Gives Kyoto A New Hotspot

Kengo Kuma is known for his understated, poetic designs that emphasizes humility and quality of material. This helps the newly opened Ace Hotel Kyoto become a space for joy and interaction.

The new hotel designed by Kengo Kuma is harmonious with its environment and in quiet dialogue with Kyoto’s past and future legends

Kyoto is one of the most celebrated cities in the world, admired for an unparalleled social, creative, cultural and architectural dynamism. It’s been heralded as a creative wellspring, drawing artists here for centuries as a restorative, beautiful and generative refuge.

Ace Hotel’s approach to design is unorthodox, with a reverence for the past and an eye to the future

Now Ace Hotel Kyoto will help foster that same fertile, creative spirit for future generations, while paying homage to the rich imperial history that came before by partnering with NTT Urban Development Corporation for Ace Hotel Kyoto.

Designed by the famed architect Kengo Kuma, Ace Hotel Kyoto opened with Kuma’s design that blends new with the old, incorporating renovations of the historic building-erected in the mid 1920s as the Kyoto Central Telephone Office-into the new build.

Kengo Kuma’s design embraces natural materials and light, and creates spaces for interaction and comfort. Known for his innovative design, creative re-use and locally-minded collaboration, the Ace Hotel Kyoto now stands as a monument to the beauty and unique legacy of Kyoto, a destination for culturally curious travelers and Kyoto residents alike.

Centrally located, the neighborhood around the hotel sits on the former grounds of the imperial palace and is rumored to once have been the home of Japanese samurai

“The thought was to create a hotel that is connected to Kyoto and open to the surrounding area. To begin with, the proposition was to create a dense garden where communities, as well as the past and the present, are connected to this venerable land with its various gardens, which have existed since the Heian period.

The existing Kyoto central telephone office building was designed by one of the great Japanese modern architects Tetsuro Yoshida. Through the central courtyard, this red brick building will converse and create a new harmony with a wooden grid system that reminisces traditional Kyoto. The integrity of Aneyakoji road and Higashino-toin road was preserved through the delicate use of fine louvers and meshes.

These louvers and meshes also act as environmental devices, which gently filters light and wind. Furthermore, the concrete was mixed with iron oxide to produce a fine warm color, which cannot be fabricated by paint. Every detail and material was thought through to connect the building, land and history together. Ace Hotel is changing the definition of the hotel by connecting the surrounding area with the hotel, and the community with the guests. This is gently changing the air of the world,” said Kengo Kuma of his latest commission.

Kengo Kuma established his firm “Kengo Kuma & Associates” in 1990. He runs diverse research projects concerning architecture, urbanity and design within his own Laboratory, Kuma Lab.His firm, Kengo Kuma & Associates employs over 150 architects in Tokyo and Paris, designing projects of diverse type and scale throughout the world. Kuma’s stated goal is to recover the tradition of Japanese buildings and to reinterpret these traditions for the 21st century, he maintains a keen interest in the manipulation of light with nature through materiality.



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