Blink Design Group completes Roku Kyoto

Envisioned by Blink Design Group, Roku Kyoto, LXR Hotels & Resorts will become the first LXR resort under the Hilton brand in Asia Pacific when the property welcomes its first guests through the doors in Fall 2021.

Inspired by the beauty and simplicity of Japanese culture – its name in fact derives from the traditional craftsmanship of handmade paper – the luxury hotel will feature 114 guestrooms and suites, restaurants and a spa. The aesthetic also references an area of natural seclusion at the foot of the Takagamine mountains.

“Holding a strong belief in taking every guest on a shared journey made by people and place, we are thrilled to work with LXR to create an authentic experience at Roku Kyoto, which illustrates a great respect to the region’s rich heritage and culture,” says Blink founder and Creative Partner Clint Nagata, who has taken inspiration from the notion that ‘beautiful things are born from a beautiful environment’. “Each space in the resort is inspired by traditional Japanese elements with the aim of connecting people, culture and nature.”

A rendering of Roku Kyoto in Japan

From the moment guests approach the lobby, a serene Zen journey begins. To celebrate the unique quality and variety of techniques applied by traditional Japanese craftsmanship, Blink’s design is brought to life through a series of lacquerware and wooden elements that incorporate traditional and contemporary essences to envision a rich cultural backdrop in each distinct area while mirroring the overall design of the resort.

Taking cues from the ancient shrine architecture often seen in Kyoto, the high-pitched ceilings featuring framed windows showcase the picturesque green landscape outside and draw natural daylight into the interior. Linked by the hallway, the tea lounge is divided by a series of parallel wooden pillars, with the space unveiling a long table in a simple design placed in the middle for intimate tea ceremony demonstrations.

Overlooking mountainous scenery meanwhile, the 114 guestrooms and suites – ranging from 50m² to 110m² – are a zenith of comfort, highlighting elements of both traditional Kyoto design and Japanese minimalistic elegance while typifying the height of artisanship. Garden Rooms feature a semi-terrace, while Spa Access Rooms and Suites are equipped with a full terrace and a natural onsen hot spring that is rarely seen in Kyoto.

A rendering of Roku Kyoto in Japan

The pervading sense of the interior experience is also carried through to the “Karakami” traditional crafted paper wallcoverings, while the colour palette is accentuated by earth tones to create a calming atmosphere. Each room is designed with refined washi paper framed in a wooden lattice to resemble the ambiance of traditional “Minka” – the Japanese home in celebration of the craftsmanship and cultural references.

Elsewere, culinary indulgence and scenic beauty abounds at Roku’s dining venue. Adjacent to the Tenjin River, the Pavilion features three distinct zones where guests can savour all-day dining with the finest locally sourced seasonal ingredients. The natural views unveiled from the windows transform through seasons, projecting the landscape and water features to offer guests a unique experience at different times of the day.

Echoing the arrival lobby, the restaurant features Kyoto’s shrine-inspired architecture decorated with a bamboo weave pattern screen, reflecting the traditional yet timeless sense of Japanese style. In considering various dining preferences, the seat settings allow guests to take in a visual display of dishes by the head chef at the live kitchen counter with the “Shousugi-Ban” – or black charred wood wall – as the backdrop or to indulge in privacy. The bar and café area meanwhile are distinguished by blue rusted copper wine shelves, while guests can also choose to unwind at an outdoor terrace perched alongside the Tenjin River.

A rendering of Roku Kyoto in Japan

Inspired by the stalks of bamboo in Kyoto’s forest, the spa blends Japanese Zen culture and natural elements. The calm and peaceful interior is filled with ceramics depicting the shape of bamboo to reinvigorate body, mind and spirit to welcome and encourage the philosophy of Japan’s healing tradition. Visitors can escape from the stresses of the outside world in one of the onsen thermal pools or the 24-hour fitness room too.

“Roku Kyoto is a tranquil resort emphasising the minimal aesthetic of Kyoto through the skilful use of materials and lines to create an elegant and relaxing space that can be appreciated through time,” adds Rie Minoura, Head Designer of Blink for Roku Kyoto. “Each space has its own theme celebrating local craftsmanship which is integrated into its interior space to showcase the elegant sense of Japanese design.”

The opening will follow Blink’s previous projects in the Maldives, China, Thailand and the Philippines. For more information on the studio, listen to our podcast with founder Clint Nagata from earlier this year.