We designed a hotel in the center of Kyoto that a street passes through and is thus connected to the street. The history of Kyoto as a city has been a history of searching for how to have streets weave their way through the city in 120 meter long square blocks that originated in China, and how to introduce human scale and texture into these blocks. We thought that we wanted to have the hotel be more like an extension of the street rather than an isolated structure that occupies the space. This is in essence the philosophy of ACE HOTEL which has brought about a revolution in 21st century hotels.
We first focused on preserving the Former Kyoto Central Telephone Exchange which was designed by Tetsuro Yoshida (1894-1956), one of the pioneers of modern architecture in Japan, channeling a street between the new building and the one designed by Tetsuro Yoshida, and created another street from that one that heads towards Higashi-Notoin Street at the rear. Three types of human materials were used for the new building in order to play a new type of jazz in Kyoto on top of the streets: “Tokyou” that are made by assembling wooden members, aluminum louvers that randomly fluctuate, and ink black precast concrete which contains iron oxide.