Naoya Tochio's Innovative "Yuamu" Design: A Modern Take on Traditional Ryokan

Revamping a Banquet Hall into an Award-Winning Guest Room

Naoya Tochio's "Yuamu" design, a unique transformation of a banquet hall into a modern Japanese guest room, has won the prestigious Silver A' Interior Space, Retail and Exhibition Design Award in 2023. This innovative design reflects a new era in hospitality, blending tradition with modernity.

The "Yuamu" design was born out of the need to adapt to the changing demands of the hospitality industry, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As banquet halls saw a decline in use, Tochio saw an opportunity to repurpose this space into something more functional and relevant. The result was a guest room that capitalized on the high ceilings of the banquet hall, offering a sense of openness and a unique view of the river flowing outside.

What sets "Yuamu" apart is its blend of traditional and modern elements. The guest rooms feature a small tatami area and sofas, creating a unique Japanese modern style. The high ceilings and varying floor heights add to the sense of space and luxury. The design also incorporates the concept of "weaving" and "folding," reflecting the name of the hotel and the region's cultural heritage.

The restaurant, "ORIORI," is another highlight of the design. Its theme aligns with the hotel's name, creating a cohesive branding strategy. The space is designed to mimic the outdoors, with the transparency of the folds adjusted according to function for a comfortable feel. The restaurant can accommodate 120 guests, with 86 seats in the renovated section.

The realization of "Yuamu" was not without its challenges. All the furniture was custom-made, requiring careful attention to dimensions and details. Despite these challenges, the design was completed in January 2023, with the inn reopening the following month.

Naoya Tochio's "Yuamu" design is a testament to the power of innovation and adaptability. It showcases how a traditional space can be transformed into something modern and unique, without losing its cultural essence. With its blend of tradition and modernity, "Yuamu" offers a new perspective on hospitality design, earning it well-deserved recognition and accolades.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Naoya TOCHIO
Image Credits: ALL photo :Tomooki Kengaku
Project Team Members: Naoya TOCHIO
Project Name: Yuamu
Project Client: Naoya TOCHIO

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