LocationKoyasan, Koya, Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Text description provided by the architects. 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. Each single room directly faces a hall so that you can chose 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 only owner of this guest house but also guests to maintain, modify and keep on using this architecture for the 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 simple wooden continuing structural frame. The architecture is consist only of 2x4 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 colonnade 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 spacious feeling for lounge and bar.