Tokyo-based firm Naruse Inokuma Architects has recently completed a new capsule hotel in Osaka for Japanese hotel chain Nine Hours (9h). The business model called the capsule hotel first began in Japan specializing only in offering cheap stays, and the comfort of their lodging spaces have long been overlooked. However, unlike many capsule hotels where the quality of the experience is often overlooked, the design team sought to reinvent the typology by considering each aspect of a guest’s stay.
The architects divided the four stages of the hotel stay into four scenes: the reception, the ‘prologue corridor’, the ‘sanitary lounge’, and, finally, the sleeping pod spaces. “We thus designed a completely new form of capsule hotel that reinvents its conventional image and pursues functionality while simultaneously providing a rich staying experience,” explains Naruse Inokuma Architects. “By selecting the most suitable colors, materials and lighting for each of these functions, we were able to realize a functional hotel that is also rich in the joys of the hotel stay.”
The ‘sanitary lounge’ was an area of particular attention. This part of the scheme, containing the hotel’s wet areas, has been made more habitable in order to lessen the stress of time spent in between showering and going to sleep, or between getting ready and heading out. For this purpose, the lockers, washing area, shower, and toilet space, which had previously all been located in separate areas, are connected together as part of a single sequence, while a lounge function is also incorporated.