MOGANA by Takashi Yamaguchi & associates

Kyo-machiya’s revival in the modern age: where tradition and modern technology intersect in a luxurious space

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Takashi Yamaguchi & associates for providing the following description:

在京都的旧城常常可以看到那种又深又窄的住所,它们被称为“鳗鱼之床”(Unagi no Nedoko)。这种房子通常具有形式对称的室内外空间,并通过纵向的中庭来提供线性的连接(对于“虚空”的意识和设计在东方的哲学中有着重要意义)。

The deep and narrow site is typical in the old city context of Kyoto, famously nicknamed “Unagi no nedoko”, or “the eel’s nest”.  The building is arranged with topological symmetry between external and internal void, with vertical void structured as a linear continuum.  (Design and awareness of nothingness, or the void, is important in Eastern philosophy.)

▼酒店外观,exterior view


The building takes a step back away from the street.  Between itself and the urban context, there is a garden.  The entry sequence is inspired by the long passage way in a Kyo-machiya.  The traditional design of latticework in a machiya façade is being reincarnated into a high-tech long corridor, where the guests would be greeted with light and music produced by latest technology.

▼酒店内部充满现代感的长廊,the traditional design of latticework in a machiya façade is being reincarnated into a high-tech long corridor


▼首层平面图,1F plan

In the 1st and 2nd floors, different views come into play. First, in the concierge room, a horizontal space leading the the front garden; then come the vertical void and the latticework extension. The guests would check-in at the concierge room, enjoying a view of the Japanese garden planted with camellia, arrow bamboo, and paved with black slate from Kumano in Mie Prefecture.

▼迎宾室,客人可在此欣赏日式庭院的美景,the concierge room, where the guests can enjoy the view of a Japanese garden


After checking in, the guests would walk through the latticed corridor, heading towards the lobby and library, while being absorbed into a video stream showcasing Japan’s Four Seasons.

▼大厅的屏幕上展示着日本的四季景色,the video stream in the lobby showcasing Japan’s Four Seasons


Small inner courtyards called “Tsuboniwa” would be placed in a Kyo-machiya, bringing in light and climate control into the long and narrow sites.  Such is the traditional wisdom of the people in Kyoto, and this project employs and reinterprets this wisdom.

▼“坪庭”被设计为一个纵向的、充满绿植的空间,the Tsuboniwa here is created vertically, with green plants sown on a wall


While traditional gardens are limited to the horizontal ground, the Tsuboniwa here is created vertically, with green plants sown on a wall.  Such greenery can be enjoyed from all the rooms, while natural light and wind are being directed to every room from this open void.  Rooms in the 6th, 7th and 8th floors, directly facing this greenery, are the most luxurious “Ozashiki” rooms in the hotel.  These most luxurious rooms all have customized decors with different materials being used in the walls, floors and ceilings; and one can enjoy the different atmospheres.

▼从酒店客房望向绿意盎然的坪庭,view to the greenery of the Tsuboniwa from interior


Rocks laid in the bottom of this vertical Tsuboniwa, and fog is created in between the rocks.  A micro aspect of the climate of Japan is being condensed in this small space. The mist changes between summer and winter, with light streaks appearing through the fog at night.

▼坪庭在夜晚呈现出迷人的氛围,an attractive atmosphere made by the Tsuboniwa at night


Through these different design efforts, we hope to deepen the guests’s understanding of culture in Kyoto, as well as giving an experience of an integration between the the past and the future of Japan. Our wish is for the guests to gain a true sense of Japan.


▼空间细部,interior detailed view


▼首层平面图,1F plan

▼2层平面图,2F plan

▼客房层平面图,guest room floor plan

▼西立面和南立面图,west elevation and south elevation

▼北立面和东立面图,north elevation and east elevation

Project name: MOGANA
Design: Takashi Yamaguchi & associates
Contact e-mail:
Design year : 2016-2017
Completion Year : 2018
Leader designer & Team: Takashi Yamaguchi, Yusuke Nakamae, Noriyuki Hikida, Yuma Matsubara, Lu Zhe
Project location: Kyoto, Japan
Gross Built Area: 1800㎡
Photo credits: Takashi Yamaguchi & Associates
Clients: Braveman Hospitality & Resorts
Hotel website:

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