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Scandinavian-Japanese Fusion: NOT A HOTEL Setouchi by BIG Architects

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG Architects has recently shared exciting new details about their NOT A HOTEL project. This unique endeavor aims to blend Scandinavian and Japanese design principles, creating a one-of-a-kind residential escape on Sagishima Island in Japan. One of the key focuses of this project is environmental sensitivity.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

BIG’s masterplan revolves around restoring the island’s natural contours, ensuring that the beauty of the landscape remains intact. To achieve this, native vegetation will be replanted, and even the existing grass will be carefully harvested for future use before construction begins.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

The three villas within the project, aptly named 360, 270, and 180, will seamlessly integrate into the existing slopes and follow the established road network. Each villa offers breathtaking panoramic views, allowing residents to immerse themselves in the stunning surroundings.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

Each villa in the NOT A HOTEL collection, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, showcases unique characteristics that are specifically tailored to its location. The 360 villa, positioned at the highest point, offers breathtaking 360-degree views and ensures privacy with its central courtyard.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

On the other hand, the 270 villa captures a stunning 270-degree view of the archipelago. Its bathing spaces resemble floating islands surrounding a pool, accompanied by a sauna and a fire pit for outdoor gatherings. Lastly, the 180 villa, situated closest to the sea on the peninsula’s tip, reflects the curvature of the coastline in its design. Its inner courtyard features gentle slopes, moss-covered walkways, and seasonal trees.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

These villas, available in three and four-bedroom options, draw inspiration from traditional Japanese single-story houses and incorporate local materials. While reinterpreting building elements such as facades, roofs, walls, and floors for modern living, they still retain their essence. The glass facades, reminiscent of shoji screens, and the Genshoseki natural slate floors, which pay homage to tatami mats with their patterned layout, exemplify this fusion. Additionally, the villas will be constructed using rammed earth, a traditional technique in the region that involves incorporating local soil to create load-bearing curved clay walls.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

The layout of the NOT A HOTEL villas revolves around a spacious open-plan living area. Functional spaces like bathrooms and storage are consolidated into separate volumes, ensuring privacy for the residents. Strategically placed skylights above these volumes allow natural light to permeate the entire space, striking a balance between openness and privacy. The villas will also feature traditional Japanese baths, soothing color palettes, and outdoor fire pits, all set against the backdrop of heated infinity pools.

NOT A HOTEL Setouchi, JP / BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group

Sustainability is a paramount focus at NOT A HOTEL Setouchi. The roofs of the villas will be adorned with solar tiles, a modern interpretation of traditional Japanese roofing. Rainwater collected from the elevated roofs will be utilized for irrigation purposes, while operable facades and overhangs will promote natural cooling during the warmer months. With its commitment to both design and sustainability, NOT A HOTEL Setouchi is set to become a remarkable addition to the hospitality brand’s portfolio.

Image courtesy of MIR