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National Museum, the protected Ikeniwa Pond and the exacting standards of the Four Seasons Hotels team,” said HBA Co-CEO Ian Carr. “Our team brought all these influences together and created a design tour de force sitting harmoniously between tradition and modernity, simplicity and luxury. Working with a talented team of artisans and artists, we are proud to have played our role in creating a new landmark in Japan’s hospitality landscape.” “Five years ago, we began working on


the design for the Four Seasons Kyoto and immediately recognized the tremendous respect and honor the region and Ikeniwa Pond commanded,” said Agnes Ng, partner and lead designer on the project for Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). “Our concept paid respect to both aspects of the property with our understated, graceful design, which had minimalist undertones featuring intricate details. Te hotel is meant to be a haven for contemplation – we designed every facet of it to open up to views of Ikeniwa, allowing the design to serve as a window to the pond, never detracting from it.” Guests are greeted into the hotel by an


alluring bamboo forest that leads to a Japanese garden sanctuary. As one of the only cities in the world with four distinct and highly photogenic seasons, Kyoto flourishes with spring cherry blossoms, swaying bamboo in summer, brilliant red autumn leaves, and the blanket of winter snow – each one framed by expansive windows. Bringing the outdoors to the interior, the


vast lobby space seamlessly adapts with every season to evoke constant, yet ever-changing emotions with guests. Te use of locally sourced traditional shoji paper screens create interesting soft shadows as light casts through


them. HBA designers used natural Aji stepping stones to pave the ground, reminiscent of a Zen garden. “Te essence of the lobby lies in its


simplicity and generosity of its gestures. Te harmonious integration of space and environment lends to the importance of the site’s context – the pond,” says Ng. “Large discreet spaces of respite and dramatic linear views to the pond and beyond dictate the lobby space – the design orchestrates a sense a simple elegance, sensuality and discovery that reveals a further focal point to the pond.” A personal space inspired by tranquillity,


the rooms at the Four Seasons Kyoto reflect the characteristics of a traditional Japanese house. Te quiet and elegantly simple lines of wooden slats that greet guests upon entering the space is enhanced by the deliberate shadows cast by light that sheds through. Fusuma screens decorated with artwork by local echo artists further celebrate the culture. Te view to the outdoor sanctuary is framed by oak wood architrave that acts as a center point, immersing guests in Kyoto’s heritage. Traditional tatami was implemented in a modern way to preserve and respect Kyoto’s tradition by adding a Japanese pattern motif. A vibrant purple hue is used throughout


the design, providing a stately and royal context for the country. Natural edge-carved oak wood flooring enhances the natural Japanese imperial villa experience. Restrooms are a luxurious space for guests to immerse themselves in the calming, soothing effects of water inspired by the pond. Decorative vertical stone walls and a luxurious rain shower create an oasis for guests to relax, simulating a waterfall within a bamboo forest. Te Spa at Four Seasons Kyoto is a haven


of Kyo no Iyashi, meaning ‘Kyoto healing’ and features seven treatment and wellness- technology rooms, including a VIP couples’ spa suite. Roji path stepping stones to a waterfall


cascading from a stone bridge usher guests into an oasis of calm and tranquility. Te dramatic indoor swimming pool takes


its design form from the pond, while a series of Japanese pavilions invite guests to lounge in an intimate setting.


GS Magazine 35


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