Set within a semi-tropical climate and breathtaking scenery of Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, this boutique hotel is situated on the edge of cliff overlooking white-sand beach and clear turquoise water. The design of Hotel O imagines a venue that imbues site’s natural surrounding into hospitality spaces, making natural beauty part of an architectural element in and outside the Hotel O. In lieu of distributing and stacking programmed spaces on site which would create large mass and obstruct views to the ocean from the site, the massing strategy aimed to minimize the building’s impact and connection to the ocean from the land. As well, the objective was to situate hotel suites closest as possible to the sea for the hotel guests. Resulting massing strategy devised two distinctive linear blocks, Event Hall Building and Hotel Building. With semi-tropical climate supporting significant outdoor activities, suites are situated on the beach with direct access to the water via elevator and internal stairs. Hotel Building which contains bulk of the program mass is situated on the beach below the cliff to minimize view obstruction from the land and around the site. Hotel building’s linear massing with suites facing south with extended balconies and opaque east-west facades helps to shield the sun during hot summer months while providing optimal view to the ocean. The Event Hall Building which contains more public programs sits on the top of cliff serving as the ‘bridge’ to the suites and the beach beyond, while its east and west orientation helps open up ocean and cliff view from and around the site. Within in the hospitality spaces, site’s four natural elements, beach, water, sky, and cliff, are imbued into the program spaces with framed views. .
Studio Lawrence Kim is an Interdisciplinary Design Collaborative and Research Lab for architecture and urbanism.