With a nearly all-wood design that’s being hailed as a refreshing change from typical steel and glass, Kengo Kuma’s stunning ‘1hotel Paris’ project will bring eco-luxury lodgings to the Rive Gauche neighborhood in Paris. The Japanese-born, Paris-based architect is well known for his signature wooden designs, which often feature stacked and slotted wood pieces that fit together in puzzle-like arrangements.
The facade of the hotel features wooden panels overlapped and set at irregular, asymmetrical angles to ‘blur’ the building’s shape and mimic the pattern of branches on a tree. Lush greenery protrudes from between these panels, helping to purify the air in the neighborhood.
“In the dense urban context of the Avenue de France, we felt the need to create a green lung for the city,” says the architecture firm. “Nature finds a place at the core of the scheme, translated in the intimate public garden where all senses are awoken.”
“In the context of repetitive volumes along the avenue, our design strategy was to create a sculptural shape as formed by natural erosion that will let the sky come down to the street. The work on the volume is defined by the modularity of the wooden structure. As particles, dispersed facade panels together with the volumetric decomposition come to blur the shape of the building. The warm materiality of the wood is combined with the soften reflection and aerial touch of the metal panels. The building will come alive with the light.”
The 1Hotel will be home to 140 rooms, including 23 suites, a 179-bed hostel, a 120-seat cabaret and a 1,000-square-foot sports hall as well as bars, restaurants and offices. There’s also a central garden surrounded by staggered walls, a series of multi-level garden terraces and a swimming pool.