‘Artful’ rest

A permanent art exhibition in which to spend the night. In Kyoto, BnA Alter Museum is a hotel that offers a unique experience. To win the hearts of art lovers

BnA Alter Museum, Kyoto - Abstract Dragon, Mon Koutaro Ooyama - Photo © Tomooki Kengaku
BnA Alter Museum, Kyoto - Abstract Dragon, Mon Koutaro Ooyama - Photo © Tomooki Kengaku

Owner & Developer: Columbia Works Hotel & Resorts
Hotel operator: BnA
Structure + Exterior Contractor: Kanewa
Design Architects: Hisao Morita (Morita Architectural Laboratory), Keigo Fukugaki, Mio Kawai (BnA)
Local Architects: Toyo Architects and Engineers Office
Interior contractors: TANK (Lobby Interior), ICOS, Smart works, TIGA (Art Room Interior)
Interior design: Hisao Morita, Yoichiro Umemura (Morita Architectural Laboratory), Keigo Fukugaki, Mio Kawai (BnA), Reiichi Ikeda (Reiichi Ikeda Design), Takao Kondo (Kanome)
Photo credits: Tomooki Kengaku, courtesy of BnA Hotel

Is your passion for art so strong that you have trouble spending even a few hours away from its presence? The BnA Alter Museum has been created for art lovers who are immune to the Stendhal Syndrome. The third facility designed by the BnA group, after the previous BnA HOTEL Koenji and the BnA STUDIO Akihabara, both in Tokyo, BnA Alter Museum carries on with the same principles, offering a permanent display of 31 works created by 15 Japanese artists under the guidance of 9 art directors, with items placed in every one of the 31 rooms.

Like time-release patrons of the arts, the guests live together with the works for the duration of their stay, while contributing to the livelihood of the artists themselves. The BnA group works extensively to create a network in local and external creative communities, accelerating a process of education and social awareness. In the rooms, the site-specific are everywhere, shaping the decor and the finishes, ‘dressed up’ and designed around the work itself.

The BnA Alter Museum experience is even more intense because it is part of SCG, an original 10-story building that contains a ‘vertical gallery’ spread over 30 meters of height, along the staircase ramps. An alternative, decidedly radical and provocative location, to display other works of contemporary art in rotation. SCG hosts two major exhibitions each year, enhanced by many events, tours, workshops and conferences.

While SCG embodies the ‘brains’ of the hotel, its heart is represented by ‘untitled,’ a nameless bar designed with an eye on serendipity, where guests and local residents can share experiences, happy to make discoveries by pure chance and to find something they were not looking for, while perhaps they were searching for something else. But the Cafe/Lounge also lends itself to socializing and exchange, an attitude underlined by the interior design that amplifies and dilates the space with a game of mirrors on the ceiling, containing a restful system for diffused lighting. The ‘mission’ of BnA doesn’t stop here. The group is presently completing another structure, slated to open in 2020, in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo. This time there will be 25 rooms. The artists are already at work.