Pioneering Japan’s Zero-Energy Hospitality, ‘ITOMACHI HOTEL 0’

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

Ito-Machi, launched in 2020, is an urban development in Ehime prefecture’s Saijo, featuring a master plan by the esteemed Kengo Kuma Laboratory at the University of Tokyo. The project encompasses a residential zone with detached houses and a commercial zone hosting hotels and markets. Its purpose is to infuse new vibrancy into Saijo through a unique blend of urban living and disaster-resilient infrastructure.

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

It’s strategically designed with a microgrid, ensuring the community’s resilience in the face of disasters. In emergency situations, it transforms into a vital disaster prevention base, capable of providing emergency power, water, and food for up to 800 people over three days.

©︎ Masaki Hamada / Kkpo Courtesy Itomachi Hotel 0

Within this urban landscape, ITOMACHI HOTEL 0 stands as a testament to sustainability. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, this zero-energy hotel attains the prestigious ‘ZEB’ certification, marking a pioneering leap forward in Japan’s commitment to eco-conscious hospitality.

Inspired by the local topography, the hotel’s design showcases three low-rise structures crowned with expansive roofs mirroring Mt. Ishizuchi mountain range, symbolizing the spirit of Saijo City. The hotel aligns with the town’s vision of cultivating renewed vibrancy. The entire block, including existing facilities, proudly bears the ZEB certification.

©︎ Masaki Hamada / Kkpo Courtesy Itomachi Hotel 0

Encompassing 2,999 m² across two floors in the South Building and one floor each in the North and East Buildings, the hotel comprises 57 rooms, a reception café, co-working space, multipurpose studio, and laundry facilities. Reception wing is left open to the community and is separated from the lodging wing by a buffer ‘garden’, creating a communal space with a pure ‘Uchinuki’ water feature – acting as an outdoor living and performance space, redefining the traditional hotel experience.

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

Dugout Architects, the creative minds behind the interior and landscape, draw inspiration from Saijo City’s distinctive ‘Uchinuki’ water and the vibrant hues of Iyo’s blue stone, collectively known as Iyoseki. Their eco-conscious ethos is evident in the incorporation of upcycled items made from renewable non-edible biomass and recycled materials.

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

Guests have a choice between the ‘hotel type stay’ with Iyo blue stone aesthetics and the ‘villa type stay’ boasting open-air baths.

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

Supervised by Tomohiro Maruyama, the in-house reception café curates a nutritious menu featuring locally sourced ingredients from Ehime, strengthening the commitment to sustainability without compromising on richness of experience.

Courtesy of Itomachi Hotel 0

As the inaugural ZEB-certified hotel in Japan, ITOMACHI HOTEL 0 represents a milestone in sustainable tourism, presenting a vision for the future of environmentally conscious hospitality that seamlessly integrates innovation, local culture, and holistic well-being.

Location : 250-7 Sakaichi, Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture ( Google Map )

1 Comment

  1. I had to look this up. Uchinuki seems to mean artesian well, or natural spring seep version of an artesian well that is under pressure and comes up from underground. They don’t seem to be the massive things that instantly start a river with much force like in Florida.

    These are typical for the region in Japan, which I did not know.

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