With an area of around one hectare, the site is located within Shikotsu-Toya National Park in Hokkaido. Near the site there is a renowned hot spring village, Jozankei Onsen. The site is about 10 minutes’ drive from there, standing alone in the mountains, and you can appreciate the original Hokkaido landscape. On my first visit to the site, I felt a bit fearful at the power of nature. So the beginning point of my idea was this fear. I wanted to turn this feeling from fear into delight.

Architects: Hiramoto Design Studio
Area: 2912.0 m2
Year: 2018
Photographs: Koji Fujii & Nacasa & Partners
Kasho Gyoen Hotel By Hiramoto Design Studio - Sheet3
© Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners

I tried to design not only a beautiful modern space which would be acceptable to urban people, but also a natural rustic space where you can feel the uniqueness of this site. I had researched some materials and crafts produced around the site and elsewhere in Hokkaido, and then I brought these influences together in a modern spatial design. I tried to make a luxurious space as a hotel by using these rustic local materials and crafts.

Kasho Gyoen Hotel By Hiramoto Design Studio - Sheet4
© Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners

I call this concept A Secret Villa In Unexplored Regions. I hope that the guest will appreciate the original Hokkaido nature, whilst retaining a relaxed mood. Lobby: In the center of the lobby there is a centerpiece of an open hearth using Sapporo Soft Stone from near the site inspired by IRORI, which is a feature in Japanese traditional houses. As in traditional Japanese houses, the space around the fireplace provides a welcoming/talking/drinking/relaxing environment. This space is located slightly lower than floor level, so a guest can feel calm in the space.

Kasho Gyoen Hotel By Hiramoto Design Studio - Sheet5
© Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners

The guest can also see through towards the pond, when the guest enters the lobby. Restaurant: I designed a long counter table around an open kitchen, giving diners a front-row view of all the chef’s activities. It is like a theater. I designed indirect lighting within a wooden grid over the counter table. In contrast, I located other seating near the windows with a view of the pond. These tables could be separated from each other by drapes, if required. Bar: There is only a counter table and a window.

Kasho Gyoen Hotel By Hiramoto Design Studio - Sheet7
© Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners

Through the window, you can enjoy the view of the National Park, illuminated by unique lighting, which has a special spectrum for keeping the peace of woods and insects. To allow patrons to enjoy this night landscape, I chose a black color scheme. Guest Room: All Guest Rooms have a view towards the National Park. Sliding doors allow guests to separate or integrate rooms as they wish. The Bathroom as part of the Living room is important to feel relaxed as in a Spa Resort, but more spacious.

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