In the history of architecture, the 20th century is considered to be the ‘age of private houses’. People are traveling much more than at any other time of our history, so it makes sense to think of the hotel as a ‘second house’, sometimes rivaling the importance of the private house. Being an architect, I stay at hotels on a routine basis and I’ve always wanted a chance to design one. Being weary of all the typical items in a Japanese hotel; the lights as bright as day, the ‘white’ cloth wallpaper, the furniture placed just so as to diminish the guests ability to walk around the small room, and the fake paintings hanging on the wall.
I propose a design at the other end of the spectrum. The lights are slightly dim, all the necessary features are built into the wall as opposed to offering a ‘furnished room’, and I install a small but authentic art piece by a Kyoto based international contemporary textile artist. In addition, seasonal flower arrangements are placed subtly in the elevator waiting area.
The guests encounter ‘Kyoto’ for the first time at this hotel. It is the ‘Kyoto’ they meet before Honganji Temple or Kiyomizu Temple. It was my proposal to create a place that was authentically modern Kyoto, though in the end, it is up to the guest to make that evaluation.