This Old Concrete Building Is Transformed Into a Beautiful Three-Room Hotel With Exposed Furnishings and Nature Elements

by Nicholas Chew

On Fukue Island, the biggest one of the southern clusters of Japan’s Goto Islands lies a semi-dilapidated home built in the 1980s.

The site is located in a vivacious, happening area, with a cafe right beside and bustling street-side shops and eateries all around.

Considering the feasibility of the site’s prime location, architectural firm Suppose Design Office decided to transform the residence into a three-room hotel with a rustic charm.

Project: Hotel Sou
Architect: Suppose Design Office
Location: Japan

Exterior Area:

The principal concept behind the transformation was to create a euphony with what was already existing. Situated at the cusp of a harbour, one can hear the shrill whistle of ships from the hotel and undeniably revel in the island’s thriving beauty and diverse nature.

To blur the boundaries between the interiors and exteriors, the design firm removed the finishings from the existing structure and widened the openings in an almost sculptural, irregular way.

At first sight, the building looks almost abandoned – with its exposed concrete walls and untrimmed plants. But there’s a magnetism to it that draws people towards the building.

Interior Area:

In every space within the house, there has been a contrast created between the perpetual beauty of the spaces and the interior finishes.

The building frame itself has a strong, rough, almost brutalist expression, whereas local materials such as rattan and sisal add a touch of classic beauty and warmth to the rooms. 

The rooms themselves are adequately furnished with platform beds resting on a light brown wooden frame, and bronze-gold lighting fixtures.

The bedrooms are separated from the bathrooms with sliding doors made with straw-like mesh in a wooden frame, and a level difference instead of the conventional wall and door pairing.

All three rooms, whether they’re for four people, two or one, have green pockets that are framed by irregular cutouts in exposed concrete.

These green pockets along with views of the lively neighbourhood can be enjoyed by sitting on a gray cushioned bench beneath it.

The bathrooms follow the same theme as the sleeping areas, with exposed concrete dominating the material palette. Toiletries can be kept in a wicker mesh cabinet underneath the sink, and this area is separated from the bath by a one-way, sliding glass door.

The rooftop deck functions as a common area where gray, cushioned seating has been placed at the periphery, with a rectangular tabletop fireplace cum teapoy at the center.

Guests can unwind here, or host family members for a small get-together.

The quaint Fukue Island has flourished since times immemorial, through the melange of foreign cultures courtesy of trade. This very legacy is something that has been subtly reflected in the modern, industrial design of Hotel Sou.

It has been gently intertwined with gorgeous indigenous materials whose rugged beauty has been accentuated by leaving them exposed.

All in all, Hotel Sou, with its rustic, cozy charm offers a delightful experience to guests who want to experience the Japanese Island’s history and vibrancy to the fullest.

All images are taken from Hotel Sou unless otherwise stated.

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