Project: Ace Hotel Kyoto
Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Photography: Stephen Kent Johnson
Designed in partnership with legendary architect Kengo Kuma — the principal architect for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium — and award-winning and longtime Ace partner Commune Design, Ace Hotel Kyoto is a 213 room hotel and lives in a part new-build and part historic structure that was once home to Kyoto Central Telephone Company by architect Tetsuro Yoshida. Ace Hotel Kyoto will feature an animated Lobby, a verdant garden courtyard, a gallery, event spaces, collaborations with local artists, a cafe and three stand alone restaurants.
“We’ve been wanting to do a project in Japan for 20 years now, and collaborating with a visionary like Kengo Kuma and longtime friends Commune make it all the more special. Kyoto has been a longstanding global hub that has provided inspiration for countless artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers and poets. Kyoto is a city that generates creativity and inspires travel, and we hope Ace will serve as a central gathering place for locals and travelers.” — Kelly Sawdon, Partner and Chief Brand Officer, Ace Hotel Group.
“I intended to design a ‘Cultural Catalyst’ for various people to visit and create a seamless relationship with Kyoto’s community.” — Kengo Kuma, Principal, Kengo Kuma and Associates.
A thoughtfully designed and vibrant gathering space, Ace Hotel will stand as a monument to the creative epicenter of Japan that exalts simple pleasures and respect for traditions. Reverent of the unexpected and embracing the particular energies and culture of the city, the hotel will feature original art (including works by nonagenarian artist Samiro Yunoki), multiple courtyards — including a centrally located one between the historic and new building — thoughtfully landscaped gardens and guest room details that include Japanese soaking tubs.
Ace Hotel Kyoto exalts the city’s abundance of nature, art, ever-evolving culture, sophistication of craft and profound history. Opening prior to the Tokyo Olympics, reservations are now available.
Ace Hotel will be a vessel for the city to use in its vision for the future — synthesizing an inspired and culturally resonant demographic and a worldly lifestyle with the strong historical and cultural power and global creative center that is Kyoto. In a place that exalts simple pleasures and respect for traditions and humanity, Ace Kyoto will invite an audience of forward-thinking individuals, professionals in the new economy, active participants in the creative arts industries and culturally-engaged leisure travelers to Kyoto, as well as serve as a global cultural hub for the local community. Kyoto is a generative wellspring where new ideas are formed and old ones are venerated.