K5 — Tokyo, Japan
It’s all about aimai – Japanese for ‘blurred boundaries’ – at K5, a new Tokyo hotel complex in a former 1920s bank.
An anomaly in a city of skyscrapers, the five-level building’s DNA is strong-lined concrete, parquet flooring, big windows and double height ceilings – now with a fresh industrial makeover by Swedish studio Claesson Koivisto Rune. ’It’s a rare space,’ explains Ola Rune of the Stockholm-based firm. ’We wanted to contrast the masculine with the delicate’.
Its heartbeat is a buzzy ground floor cluster of loosely divided spaces: fermentation restaurant Caveman, a wine bar, Switch Coffee and plants oasis by Yard Works. Ao, a small red bar, also serves tea-inspired cocktails and Brooklyn Brewery (the first outside New York) spans the basement.
Copper-lined elevators lead to corridors with geometric concrete flooring, curved cedar walls and retro window panels in leafy shades.
The scene-stealers, however, are the 20 guestrooms: beneath unusually high ceilings, indigo-dipped curtains encircle freestanding beds, alongside beehive-shaped washi lanterns, raw concrete walls, tatami-inspired Kasthall wool rugs and sculptural chairs in clean black leather lines and soft scarlet curves. Rune adds: ’The building has a very strong appearance. We kept whatever we could but added contrasting details to the original features – the walls of cedar wood, the circular curtains, the bespoke furniture pieces.’§