Client: Above & Beyond
Location: Niseko, Japan
Project Conception: 09/06/07
Project Status: Postponed
Project Value: $60,000,000 USD
Designed to maximise views of Mount Yotei and the Hirafu ski-fields, the 102 key hotel utilizes a bespoke architecture built entirely around the requirements of the skier/snowboarder. Set around a separated wet/dry public flow, the scheme is laid out to create an internal public ‘street’ of spaces, set into the landscape. The low level stepped public space, coupled with the provision of floor-to-ceiling glazing throughout, allows for the private residences to be provided with unhindered views of the surrounding area.
The overall impact of the hotel is reduced, whilst allowing the architecture to create a visual dialogue with its surroundings. The solid mass of the hotel is broken down into a series of loosely stacked concrete boxes, with the units designed to be read as a series of individual timber sleeves inserted within the rougher elements. The result is a building that enables residents to feel they have ownership of a physical part of the architecture.
A series of stacked rectilinear boxes float above a lightweight glazed base, interconnected with the site through the geometric forms of the surrounding landscape. This careful connection with the landscape, coupled with the mirrored glazing of the units, creates a playful connection with the context. Each unit minimises the clutter common with most hotel rooms and creates a visual reference to Japanese minimal design. By providing hidden storage along either wall, the remaining space leaves only a few ‘celebratory’ elements exposed within an otherwise clean and open room. Attention is then focused on these elements, the wall of glass and the views beyond.