Japan 2021Kusatsu Kimuraya
In the famous Kusatsu Onsen (hot spring) in Gunma Prefecture, we designed a one-room ryokan. On the first floor, the restaurant directly faces the famous hot spring fields. By using Asama stone found in hot springs on the exterior walls, we connected building and landscape into a three-dimensional landscape. To further harmonize with the landscape, curve geometries that resonate with the soft movement of steam rising from the hot springs govern how we arranged the use of local materials.
In the interior, local materials such as Asama stone terrazzo, Japanese washi paper mixed with crushed local stones are present. The wet areas use tile materials that are typically used for the floor of the hot spring fields.
By incorporating material and geometrical elements of Yubatake hot springs throughout the building, we condensed the materiality of the historic town of Kusatsu in this small building.