Boutique Design - May 2017 - 38
HOTEL JAL CITY HANEDA TOKYO WEST WING
This is another hotel seeking to make its proximity to an airport a plus rather
than a minus. Located a 10-minute drive from Japan's Haneda Airport, this
103-key hotel was built with an eye toward accommodating the upcoming
deluge of visitors expected for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in and
around the Japanese capital.
Winning a design competition to create the interiors for the Hotel JAL City
Haneda Tokyo West Wing was Gensler's Tokyo office, whose team created a
design concept titled "J-SELECT" for it. "The letter 'J' stands for both Japan and
the Hotel JAL City brand, and the design theme symbolizes the unique local
touches we chose to use throughout the space," says Rie Kurokawa, Gensler
associate and interior designer.
That starts in the lobby of the property, in the form of a tiled floor bearing a
set of lines that represent the airport's runways. "Those graphics also double as
a wayfinding system that immediately engages visitors," says Kurokawa.
Subdividing the hotel's public spaces is a series of walls with angled
boutiquedesign.com may 2017
7 The old and the new intermingle in the
lobby of the Hotel JAL City Haneda, with
a floor graphic of the nearby airport's
runways and walls inspired by Tokyo's
8 The guest rooms at the Gensler-designed
hotel feature signature red accents
similar to those found throughout the
property, and headboard walls bearing
large-scale prints of nearby scenes.
shelving that Kurokawa says was inspired by the traditional alleyways still
found in parts of Tokyo. Other visual elements representing cultural touchstones include liberal doses of stucco and rice paper. Serving as a modern
counterpoint to those elements are red accents on furniture and signage.
Guest rooms continue the cultural-immersion experience, thanks to such
features as carpets bearing traditional Japanese motifs, bedding made from
folk textiles and large-scale prints of nearby landscapes and cityscapes on the
headboard walls. The result, the designer says, is a hotel that "provides travelers with a truly one-of-a-kind stay by celebrating Japanese culture."
As this quartet of case studies clearly shows, the move by more and more
mid-tier brands to establish statement-making visual identities for their locales
has made this sector the scene of lots of creative action within the hotel
industry-and that, in turn, should serve as a source of celebration for
designers seeking to work in it.
COURTESY OF HOTEL JAL CIT Y
Further reinforcing that local flavor are visual references to sunsets over the
Pacific Ocean and LA's set of skyscrapers in both the public spaces and guest
rooms of the hotel, which is housed in a building designed by architecture firm
Leo A Daly. "Throughout the hotel, guests encounter warm pops of color inspired
by SoCal sunsets, along with a curated selection of vivid and vibrant art that
depict the city's skyline in an abstract way," says Puccini designer Jocelyn Ramos.
The Choice Hotels property's proximity to LAX also receives nods in the
design. For example, the entry experience includes a curved front desk made of
precast concrete that's paired with pendant lights inspired by aviation maps.
The guest rooms, meantime, are laid out with separate sleeping and relaxation areas, and populated with such amenities as platform beds, loungers and
spa-like baths. "Each room also features a graphic wall which serves as the
focal point and base from which the room's colors were pulled," says Fu. "By
balancing the graphic walls and playful artwork with clean-line furniture, we
were able to achieve a youthful and fun aesthetic in the rooms that's designed
to appeal to the hotel's target market of 'modern pioneers.'"