Minimalist hotel renovation breathes new life into old wooden townhouse in Kyoto

In a graceful tribute to Kyoto’s rich heritage, OHArchitecture design firm has taken the reins of an ambitious renovation project, transforming an 80-year-old townhouse into a breathtaking minimalist hotel.

Nestled in the historic Awata/Okazaki area, the hotel stands as a testament to the seamless blend of traditional charm and contemporary elegance, drawing visitors into a harmonious embrace of the past and the present.


The project’s central challenge was to restore the aging townhouse while preserving its architectural authenticity. OHArchitecture embraced this challenge with a visionary approach that celebrated the site’s history and infused it with a fresh and sophisticated ambiance. The hotel’s design honours the essence of traditional Japanese design principles, intertwining it with a minimalist aesthetic to create a unique and captivating experience for guests.

Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted by a sense of tranquillity that permeates throughout the space. The interiors boast an understated elegance, with muted tones, clean lines, and the imaginative use of space. OHArchitecture thoughtfully incorporated elements from the original townhouse, such as the exposed wooden beams and traditional shoji screens, to showcase the building’s character while adding a touch of nostalgia to the overall design.

The guest rooms are a true reflection of tranquillity and simplicity. Uncluttered and carefully curated, each room invites visitors to unwind in a serene atmosphere. Large windows strategically positioned throughout the rooms frame captivating views of Kyoto’s enchanting cityscape, further connecting guests with the surrounding natural beauty.

The heart of the hotel lies in its communal spaces. A minimalistic yet inviting lobby beckons travelers to sit back and relax, offering glimpses of a meticulously landscaped Japanese garden, which pays homage to the region’s inherent connection to nature. This serene oasis provides a peaceful retreat, allowing guests to experience the serenity that Kyoto is renowned for.

One of the most captivating features of the renovation is the integration of a traditional tea room within the hotel. Meticulously designed by master craftsmen, the tea room serves as a cultural sanctuary where guests can immerse themselves in the art of the Japanese tea ceremony. This unique addition showcases OHArchitecture’s deep appreciation for the local customs and their commitment to preserving Kyoto’s authentic cultural heritage.

The renovation project by OHArchitecture breathes new life into the old wooden townhouse, transforming it into a minimalist hotel that gracefully honours Kyoto’s cultural heritage. This innovative design not only captures the essence of the past but also paves the way for a new era of hospitality spaces that resonate with modern travellers seeking an authentic, immersive experience.

In its seamless fusion of history and modernity, the renovated hotel stands as a shining example of how thoughtful design can reimagine architectural treasures, offering guests a unique and unforgettable stay in the heart of Kyoto’s storied streets.

Images by OHArchitecture via Designboom

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