Keiji Ashizawa leads a Japanese design firm consisting of members with various backgrounds and skills, specialising in architecture, interior, furniture, lighting, and product design. You might already be familiar with Ashizawa's work through our notable features of the Hishaku Lamp, the Rail Desk, and the collaborative creation of the wonderful Kinuta Terrace with Norm Architects and Karimoku Case Study, which was also published in our photo book, Selection: Architecture.
One of Keiji Ashizawa's most recent projects is Miroku Nara by The Share Hotels—located by the shores of "Araike" at the southern end of Nara Park, where you can see UNESCO heritage sites such as the five-storey Kofukuji Pagoda and the Kasugayama Primeval Forest. Ashizawa designed the public space, restaurant, and guest rooms of a five-storey renovated building from 1990, with four above ground and one basement floor.
The interior elements were designed to make the guests feel seamlessly connected to the richness of the old city even after sightseeing and to provide a comfortable stay with soft light coming in through the fine vertical lattices of the shoji screens and furniture courtesy of Karimoku Case Study and Ishinomaki Laboratory. Additionally, Nara-based elements were installed, such as lighting fixtures by New Light Pottery and speakers by sonihouse and ample countertops in the restaurant and lobby area made of single pieces of Yoshino cedar.
Large custom-made pendant lights with Uda washi were designed above the cedar countertops to create a space where you can appreciate Nara's natural elements and craftsmanship.
Keiji Ashizawa has complemented the city's historical offerings and created a relaxed atmosphere by design, applying minimal and simple principles that blur the lines between Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics.