american boutique hotel chain ace hotel has announced it will open its first outpost in japan, designed by kengo kumathe branch will be located on the site of the shinpuhkan mall in central kyoto, featuring a design that embraces natural materials and light, creating spaces for interaction and comfort.

kengo kuma to design ace hotel's first japanese location

images courtesy of kengo kuma/ace hotel



the thought was to create a hotel that is connected to kyoto and open to the surrounding area‘, kuma 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.’

kengo kuma to design ace hotel's first japanese location



designed originally by tetsuro yoshida, the iconic shinpuhkan is a protected building and the former base of kyoto’s central telephone exchange dating back to the 1920s. after being converted to a mall in 2001 and is now the focus of a redevlopment led by NTT urban development. renderings show louvers and trees harmonizing the hotel with the landscape of the city of kyoto.


it follows on from kengo kuma‘s other work in japan – including the asakusa culture and tourism center in tokyo and the forthcoming olympic stadium for the tokyo 2020 games. ace hotel kyoto is set to open in late 2019.