Shin Takamatsu Architect and Associates Co.,Ltd. 株式会社高松伸建築設計事務所

Seawood Hotel

Kurima-jima is an island floating in the sea with an area just under 3 km2 and a roughly 9 km shoreline, southwest of Miyako-jima, to which the island is connected by a straight, 1.7 km farm bridge. Miyako-jima is itself 290 km southwest of Okinawa Island. I first visited Kurima-jima in the summer of 2013. The aim was to design a resort hotel to be built on the island. Cut by my boat, the sea surface glittered as if the early summer sun, in that spectrum unique to Okinawa, were cast into countless particles and blue pearls had been thickly strewn across it. Drawing near the island revealed unmistakably Okinawan terrain nevertheless, it seemed to be breathing by the grace of a completely different pulse. Led by this strangely vivid sense of life, almost even tangible, I let the strange coral stone path sweep away my feet and the wild thorns snag my hands as I wandered the island and its uncanny silence for several afternoon hours. Then, as if drawn in by the sinking sun, lured by the increasingly potent smell of the tide, I broke through the curtain of white leadtree growing on the western end of the site and onto Nagama-hama, and in that moment it was quite suddenly there. The world, in fact. The world, like a roaring universe exhibiting our entire existence into one measure of space-time. It was a space that could neither be domesticated by human intellectual intervention nor cleansed by the advent of the gods. Designers have yet found any expression other than “sanctuary” for this undoubtfully evident territory. Still, I was destined to manifest this sanctuary that stilled the island in time for millions of years, by using stone, iron, and other objects flung far from sanctity. The fact sunk into me on the evening of my first visit as I faced the swiftly waning light upon the seascape of primal beauty swelled from the clear abyss. An array of classically arranged villas facing north and south on the sunset’s axis. The skeleton frame of the center house, as if casting boundless time in the shape of an arch. The Ryugu dragon shape of the restaurant building, comparable to construction by the physical might of guardian spirits. All had been extracted in the course of implementing such an extraordinary mission. Yet they are merely in the phase of waiting now. To all that wait with full readiness and bated breath, the ones that will compose an atmosphere yet unseen, and carve into a time yet unknown are none other than those who will be visiting here. Indeed, here is the creation of a sanctuary. Stated fearlessly, here is a place waiting for the birth of a myth.

Location
Floor
Site area
Building area
Total area
Completion Date
Function
: Okinawa JAPAN
: B1F 3F
: 135,753m2
: 13,453m2
: 18.086m2
: 2020
: Resort Hotel