Hotelier Adrian Zecha has inaugurated the first entry in the Azumi brand. Located on the small Japanese island of Ikuchijima, Azumi Setoda occupies a 140-year-old compound transformed by Kyoto-based architect Shiro Miura to embody a contemporary ryokan experience.
Characterized by a mix of open and intimate spaces, the design is outlined by a traditional cedar kakine (or fence) designed by landscape architecture firm WA-SO to establish a harmonious balance between the neutral interiors and the soothing onsite gardens. Custom wood furniture made by a local artisan complement a palette of local materials that’s predominantly dominated by unfinished Japanese cypress. Key furniture pieces were crafted at custom heights to maximize optimal views of the property’s interior courtyard. In the ryokan’s public bathhouse, tiled artwork by artist Mai Miyake composes a motif of Mount Fuji as well as island and ocean scenes inspired by the setting. Communal tables anchor the main dining room, while the multifunctional garden room serves as a respite apt for meditation. Private gardens or balconies framing views of the kakine are attached to all 18 suites and four duplexes, and hinoki bathtubs are installed in each accommodation as well.
The Azumi team will also collaborate on the design of a mixed-use facility located on the island that will accommodate short- and long-term visitors. The complex, known as Soil Setoda, will comprise accommodations, a work lounge, activity center, coffee shop, and restaurant.
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