The studio of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has recently released a series of stunning renderings for an in-development Paris hotel. The complex, which will be situated in the Rive Gauche neighborhood near the banks of the Seine, will contain both an Eco-Luxury hotel operated by 1Hotels and a hostel run by Slo Living. The project was undertaken to bring greenery and natural life back into the area, which seems to be something of a trend in the hospitality industry nowadays. Earlier this year, Jean Nouvel unveiled his plant-heavy design for a hotel in São Paulo. In 2016, a similar building by Vo Trong Nghia Architects was completed in Hoi An.
Based on these renderings, it’s safe to say that Kuma’s Eco-Luxury hotel is shaping up to be a visual delight. Occupying a sizable plot of land a block away from the river, the complex will take the form of several rectangular volumes. Each building’s exterior will be covered in overlapping timber panels and hanging vegetation, softening their otherwise rigid outlines and giving the entire hotel the look of a modern-day Babylon. The architects note, “As particles, dispersed facade panels together with the volumetric decomposition come to blur the shape of the building.” The bedroom windows will be situated just above these panels, whose tops will be made into private terraces for the hotel’s guests to walk out onto and enjoy!
The structures will all be organized around a sprawling central garden, which the architects hope will act as an oasis amidst the bustling French metropolis around it. They explain, “In the dense urban context of the Avenue de France, we felt the need to create a green lung for the city. Nature finds place at the core of the scheme, translated in the intimate public garden where all senses are awoken.” The hotel’s “U” shape will partially enclose the garden, though some of its ground-floor sections will be perforated to provide easy access to and from the complex’s public areas, including restaurants, work spaces, and athletic facilities. Up above, the walls around the garden will be staggered, creating a few areas that will be large enough to house communal terraces, bars, and a swimming pool.
Where its exterior is lush and vibrant, the hotel’s interiors are simple and pared-back. Inside its minimal bedrooms, mattresses float on cantilevered wooden panels, which in turn are surrounded by wooden walls and flooring. The structure’s abundance of windows and use of net curtains should make it very easy for light to flood its interiors. Rest assured, the only colors you’ll find in here are neutral shades of white and brown.