Paying homage to its original architecture and the building’s history, Hiroyuki Tanaka Architects reimagined a former hospital and designed what is now the cool, chic boutique hotel Kiro Hiroshima.
A different dynamic
When Japanese architecture firm Hiroyuki Tanaka Architects took on the design and creation of a pared-back hotel in the centre of Hiroshima, the team decided to retain many of the original features of the space in order to build a home away from home. Rather than falling into the trap that many hotel designs do, the firm decided to let the original features shine and hold back from overdressing the building by way of extravagant amenities. Instead, they drew on the former hospital’s history and decided to retain its open spaces to create an authentic experience for guests.
Alongside preserving the original large entranceway and many of the existing tiles throughout the space, the third floor acts as a true exemplification of this mindset. What was once a rehabilitation pool for hospital patients has become a lounge and bar space in which visitors can interact with each other. The sunken floor follows the structure of existing pool steps, leading now from a relaxed, sociable lounge space to a row of simple tables at which guests can eat and drink.
As with many contemporary hotel and co-living projects, the spaces are meant to be shared between guests rather than just within each party itself, a goal mirrored in the name of the hotel, “kiro,” which translates to crossroads. The studio’s aim of designing a space that shows visitors to the city the real Hiroshima does truly feel as if fulfilled, and not only that but Hiroyuki Tanaka succeeded in creating a space which feels warm, welcoming and effortlessly cool to boot.