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Hostel Sui Kyoto

“Hostel Sui Kyoto ”

Nishijin, Kyoto. This hostel with a cultural salon is located in a bustling area with a mixture of history and programs, where machiya townhouses still remain, commercial buildings, and shopping streets. The hostel is not only for apprentices who come to study tea ceremony and ceramics at the salon, but also for single people who are looking for a more relaxed stay, such as working students attending a nearby correspondence university or tourists from overseas.

Kisho Kurokawa realized the first capsule microspaces at the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in 1972 and Capsule Inn Osaka in 1979, but the emphasis at the time was on minimizing the housing function and making the capsules interchangeable. Today, capsule hotels have been fully accepted due to their economic efficiency, but we thought that the space created between multiple capsules might still have potential, so we decided to adopt two types of plans: one with two capsules facing each other, and the other with three capsules combined in a “U” configuration. There was a desire to climb the stairs to the upper level, so we proposed a box unit consisting of four to five capsules, with access to the two capsules on the opposite side, and arranged the four boxes, including the water box, in the room so that there would be a gap between them. The result of this arrangement is a highly private space between the capsules facing each other. The boxes are originally a passageway to each capsule, but they are also a place for only two or three people who stay in the capsules facing each other, and as the relationship between these people becomes closer, the meaning of the place changes to a more private place.

Another concept that was also considered in this year’s hostel was the “housing the city in the residence” by Koji Hara. Each capsule is a microspace that regulates the environment around it. The four wooden boxes, arranged on the second floor with high ceilings, are faintly illuminated by top lights and windows in each passageway, and when the capsule is opened, it seems to be surrounded by the outside space. The central passageway is the main avenue to the four boxes, and the passageways and stairs to the branching capsules are alleys. The alley can be privatized by closing the curtains, while standing on the small square at the top of the stairs, you can see the whole area from the top of the box. The design of the building is like a village where people stay and flow.

Kyoto is a tourist and university city that incorporates the outside world, yet retains its own unique culture in a grid city. The idea was that this hostel would be a place to experience the overlap of its openness and closeness, its shared and private nature.