Koyasan Guest House

Koyasan Guest House, Koyasan-Japan, ALPHAVILLE Architects
Construction year: 2012
Address: 49-43 Koyasan, Kōya, Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture | KŌYA | Japan
Latitude/Longitude: 34.2159798, 135.6065695

We designed a new guesthouse for young people from all over the world at Koya-san, the head temple of the Shingon sect founded 1200 years ago, the UNESCO world heritage. It is a mixture of Japanese capsule type hotel in which the privacy is well protected, and dormitory in which the communication among the guests is active. Every single room directly faces a hall so that you can choose proper distance with other guests ensuring the privacy. Selecting of thin wooden structure, resulting that the burden load per one pillar is relatively light, visibility of environmental facilities for easier maintenance and the simple composition of the space allow not the only owner of this guest house but also guests to maintain, modify and keep on using this architecture for a long time.

We made two different scale spaces, one is a lounge for 20 people and the other is single room of a mattress size, by setting a simple wooden continuing structural frame. The architecture consists only of 2×4 inch wooden structure set at the interval of 455mm wrapped by the exterior wall with insulation outside. We did not make the hierarchy among structure, finish or furniture, same as the old Japanese traditional architecture.

At the center of this architecture, the corridor between two wooden colonnades illuminated naturally with high-side lit connects private dormitory space and public lounge space. We make use of the subtle light from far above through the wooden structure in tribute to traditional Japanese architecture. Thin small soft pillars give the guests very human scale feeling while gathering of this pillars gives a spacious feeling for lounge and bar.

Project team: Tomohisa Koike
Structural engineer: Takashi Manda
Site area: 137.26m2
Building area: 96.00 m2
Total floor area: 96.00 m2
Main contractor: Kimuko Co.

Contributed by ALPHAVILLE Architects

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