Architect Kengo Kuma to Design Ace Hotel in Kyoto


© Ace Hotel Kyoto

The news broke at the start of last month: the first Ace Hotel to be built in Asia ― in Kyoto to be precise ― will be designed in part by Kengo Kuma and Associates.

Still flourishing in his seventh decade, Kengo Kuma is already a cult architect and creates elegant structures all around the world. Two of his most notable works are the unmistakable tourist and cultural information centre in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, and the Mont Blanc Base Camp, a coworking space located in the heart of Chamonix. His agency is also currently designing Saint-Denis Playel, the station for the Grand Paris Express.

So, what do all of Kuma’s creations have in common? Aside from the fact that he almost systematically uses wood which, he explains, will be “the material of the twenty-first century“, all his structures also express his desire to find his place in a less uniform society.

In Kyoto, the aim is to turn a historic building, which was once the city’s telecoms office, into an exciting cultural hub. And it comes as no surprise to learn that the plan is to superimpose a wooden structure onto red brick. Situated somewhere between the past and the present (in true Kyotoite spirit), Ace Kyoto is scheduled to open its doors at the end of 2019. An alternative future is underway.


© Ace Hotel Kyoto

©Ace Hotel Kyoto