The five-storey structure captures the atmosphere of an intimate gallery space, while an in-house bar and a restaurant specialising in farm-to-table fare together elevate Node Kyoto to an experience-focused environment.
Collaborative exhibitions, popup shops and guest gallerists can be combined here for a cultural programme that serves visitors and locals alike in a privately-owned boutique setting. Presented to resemble the private home of an art collector, with 25 guestrooms, the property stands out for its amalgamation of hospitality, world-class art and a community spirit.
The industrial-chic property situated in the city’s Nakagyo Ward introduces a unique hotel concept where art and hospitality effectively commingle. Anchored by a rolling programme of events and exhibitions that frequently touch on themes of art, design, fashion and music, the hotel transcends the standard hotel experience and presents a cultural hub in the heart of the city. An art collection of over 60 pieces are displayed in both public spaces and guestrooms.
Node Kyoto’s carefully plotted layout and interiors perfectly complement its in-house art concept. Architecturally, the primary challenge was the long, narrow and rectangular plot of land presented, as well as meeting the requirements of Kyoto’s strict building regulations, enforced to protect the historic city’s landscape. The result, a five-storey reinforced concrete and glass construction, offer a neutral backdrop to the plethora of art on offer by way of marble-like ceilings, ash-hued walls and cement finishes, while simultaneously creating a soothing ambience.
To maximise the number of guestrooms on the limited patch, the hotel’s blueprint incorporated a variety of room types and configurations, lending an individual and distinct air to each space while effectively utilising the area afforded to the hotel. Along with the guestrooms, this is most evident in the hotel’s heart, the lobby, which embodies the atmosphere of a gallery-like living area and library, thanks to the presence of both bespoke and antique furnishings, a verdant floral ceiling centrepiece and a deluge of books, sculptures and tchotchkes that encourage guests to linger and idle. It is also in the lobby that the core concept of Node Kyoto as an art collector’s residence is fully realised, with the expanse doubling up as an exhibition space during collaborative cultural events, or for the hotel’s own art.
The concept continues in the 22 guestrooms and three suites, where diagonal metal-coated ceilings are matched with dark textures, aged white oak flooring and Takeuchi-designed furniture honed from marble and iron for a mood that is at once sultry, eclectic and contemporary. Additional pieces created in India and Sweden and custom-designed by Indian Creek Fete Kyoto join the studio’s tapestry of plush velvets, lighting by Kyoto-based artist Junpei Ohmori, and fittings from German brand Scarabeo.
The hotel is rounded out with an in-house restaurant; centred on a farm-to-table concept, the international bistro-style menu is ideally matched to the hotel’s dominant style of hospitality where long lounging is actively encouraged, and provenance is paramount. A double-height bar, overlooked by expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and a six-metre living wall and specialising in organic wine and spirits naturally segues into the sceney lobby for a smooth continuation of the hotel’s overarching laid back vibe.