LOG Hotel

Boutique hotel inside an old concrete building


在日本,混凝土建築常被指只有五六十年的壽命,這聽在外國人耳裡,定覺得匪易所思吧。或許因為頻繁的地震的關係,沒經仔細維修過的混凝土建築,常面對著人去樓空,被迫拆毁的命運。舊建築有著其獨特的魅力,毫不婉惜地推倒實在叫人心痛,還好不少發展商看上它們獨一無二之處,將之發展成酒店,有效地維護它們、善用它們。京都的RC Hotel Yasaka是一例,今年開幕,位於廣島尾道的LOG又是其中一例。

LOG的建築物,建於1963年,地點在千光寺山內。當時建於半山的住宅大樓並不普遍,這幢建築物在當時時新時代的象徵,到了今天,則有著其歷史意義。將這幢舊建築物改裝的,是來自印度的Studio Mumbai。

In Japan, concrete architectures are often said to have a lifespan of only 50 to 60 years, which may sound unbelievable to many foreigners. Due to the frequent earthquakes, concrete buildings which are not properly maintained are very often left vacant and face demolition. Old buildings carry a particular kind of charm. It is pitiful to see how they got knocked down so mercilessly. Fortunately, some developers got attracted to their uniqueness and decided to turn these old buildings into hotels, as an effective way of conservation. The RC Hotel Yasaka in Kyoto is one good example, whereas the newly opened LOG in Onomichi Hiroshima is the new member on the list. 

Located at Senkoujiyama, the building which is now occupied by LOG was built in 1963. In those days, mountainside buildings were not so popular, so this residential building quickly became an emblem of a new era. Today, the building still bears historical significance. The undertaker of the renovation project is Studio Mumbai from India.

印度與日本兩地的文化差異巨大,但Studio Mumbai的創辦人Bijoy Jain的信念,卻跟日本的傳統文化極為相近。他設計的建築,重視人與環境共融,採用天然的素材,以手工製作,處處流露著人手的溫度,是Bijoy Jain其中一個設計特色。LOG的外表是冰冷的混凝土建築,但只要一踏進房間,便能感受到截然不同的氣氛。牆壁以和紙取代油漆,光線透過障子曬進,在陽光猛烈的日子,仍是溫柔而平靜的。建築物內裝的土牆,沒有半個菱角,全都是圓鈍的,顯得柔和美好。酒店背靠著山林,庭園內種滿了可食用的果樹,另一方面,其南邊的庭園刻意造得開放,街上的電車聲、人聲仍能闖進,讓客人感受到社區的生命力。

酒店內使用的布藝品,例如客人穿的睡衣、座墊等,都是由是與印度有著緊密關係的Maki Textile,以全天然素材製作的,而餐廳提供的食品的食材,大都是來自當地的小農。從LOG的各個細部,都能看出其對地域特色的珍視與支持。

The cultural difference between India and Japan may be vast, but the principles of the founder of Studio Mumbai, Bijoy Jain, shares lots of similarities with the traditional Japanese culture. His architectural designs stress the integration of inhabitants and the environment. By leveraging natural materials and craft production, it is one of Bijoy Jain’s trademarks to highlight the art of human touch as much as possible. With a cold concrete facade, LOG provides a drastically different vibe as one step into one of its rooms. The walls are covered with washi (Japanese paper) instead of paint. As the sunlight seeps through the shōji, the room is illuminated in a gentle and calm manner, even the sun is shining fiercely outside. There is no sharp corner but only round corners along all the walls indoors, portraying a vibe of gentleness. With the back facing the woods, the courtyard is planted with trees bearing edible fruits. Whereas its courtyard in the south wing adopts an open layout. The sounds of the trams and people on the streets are all audible, letting the guests feel the vibrancy of the community.

The fabrics used in the hotels such as the guests’ pajamas and sitting mats are all supplied by the Maki Textile, which has a deep relationship with India. The materials used are all purely natural. Whereas the ingredients served in the restaurants are all sourced by local farmers. Every single detail of LOG simply is a reflection of how they cherish and support their regions.