This hotel is situated in the Momoyama Hills in Atami City. It nestles into scenic mountains on the beautiful coastline southwest of Tokyo. Along with its special location, Atami has a colourful history of art, literature and the traditional Japanese performing art of “Nou”. The design concept for this third Curation Hotel comes from these two unique aspects – the dramatic location and geography of Atami City – mountains, coastline, and sea – combined with the cultural history of the area. The interior design refers to these motifs throughout and, where possible, has been made by craftspeople using traditional skills and local sustainably sourced materials.
“Curation Hotel” is the trademark of Noriko Sawayama, the interior design producer of the project. Momoyama-Gaen is the third hotel to join this family – all located in the Atami City area – and in March 2021 these three hotels will be launched as the first group of curation hotels in Japan. The concept of Curation Hotels is to create a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere where guests can learn about the traditional Japanese architecture, decoration, and art they are immersed in and appreciate how contemporary design and art can complement the traditional making methods and materials.
All carpentry work, fittings and fixtures, plaster work and tiling in the hotel use traditional materials and are made by skilled artisans. This is an essential part of the Curation Hotels ethos – to sustain traditional Japanese building materials, techniques and skills which are being lost. Japan has a fantastic history of traditional artisan constructed architecture, but sadly many contemporary buildings tend to be created like an industrial product using mass construction methods.
Given that the building is a mid-70’s concrete construction the use of traditional crafts, skills and materials might seem incongruous, but they have been used in a contemporary way with designs that respond to the forms and spaces of the building. This approach combined with the consistent use of two clear design motifs – the integration of elements that reflect the geography of the location, and the extensive use of timber details and elements – create a harmony and rhythm that is consistent throughout the hotel. Where possible materials are from local suppliers – especially the timber.
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