Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Sanjo designed by GARDE

GARDE was involved in the conceptualization, basic planning, basic design, and supervision of the interior portion of Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Sanjo, which opened on April 4, 2022.

■Location, lobby design, and seamless service through the introduction of ICT/AI technology: these are the main features of the hotel

Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Sanjo is located within walking distance of Sanjo Station (Keihan Main Line) and Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station (Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line), making it a very convenient location for both sightseeing and business purposes in the city.

The façade is inspired by a contemporary machiya and composed of a combination of Japanese lattice doors and protruding latticework, (indeed, characteristic features of a Kyoto machiya). Not showy, but with a sophisticated design and a beautiful sense of rhythm and movement, these elements evoke a sense of anticipation for a stay in Kyoto.

GARDE was able to design a simple and open space by creating a sense of seamlessness going from the hotel entrance to the lobby.

The lobby area, check-in area, and restaurant were also designed to become a single space. Combined with ICT and AI technology, GARDE has completed a comfortable space that matches space and functionality.

The interior design is based on the theme “learning from the past”. It features a collage and a gold leaf wall art by artists with ties to Kyoto; wood block art with images of the four deities (blue dragon, white tiger, red bird, and black tortoise) that protect the north, south, east, and west of Kyoto; and step seats that resemble the banks of the Kamo River.

Taken together, all these features create a one-of-a-kind space where visitors can feel the modern traditions, as well as cultural flavor unique to Kyoto. In other words, a first-hand experience of the sophistication of modern art design.

A new hotel was born in Sanjo, Kyoto, a popular destination visited by many people as a base for sightseeing, business, and other activities. While letting visitors feel the long history and culture of the city, this hotel offers a smart and functional space, all the while utilizing the latest technology.

■Design concept/keywords are “irregularity,” “nostalgia,” and “gap”.

The façade, a contemporary take on the traditional machiya, is designed to retain a sense of the world, while gently controlling the view. A “noren” screen (Japanese curtain-like screen) was installed to invite guests into a simple and modern lobby.

As you enter, a huge touch screen appears in front of you, and an earthen floor leads you to an automatic check-in counter… A stress-free, streamlined flow line suddenly leads to a courtyard reproducing a lush mountain forest, giving you a magical sensation as if you were looking at a painting.





■The theme for the design of the main space is “learning from the past”.

Non-organic and modern industrial materials such as concrete and deck plates are mixed with materials and furnishings such as bare lighting and old wood big tables that are more than 100 years old from lumbering, thus expressing the passage of time with warmth and nostalgia, as well as a sense of renewal.





■Spatial Design: Sanjo’s “learning from the past”

For this project, GARDE has collaborated with an artist with a deep connection to Kyoto. The spatial theme was Sanjo’s “learning from the past”, a place where traditions and culture are alive and sound.

By allowing artworks and expressions to coexist in the space, GARDE has created a place that stimulates the sixth sense, which cannot be summed up in a single word “art space”.

 ◆Project Members

Arata Saito GARDE esign Division, Design Department, Design Director, First Class Registered Architect

After working mainly on brand-name design and construction projects in Tokyo, he joined the Asia Pacific Division of the Hong Kong office in 2013. Mainly working within China and Southeast Asia, he designed the VIP area of K11 in Guangzhou, China, The Royal Park Canvas – Ginza 8 etc. He was involved in a wide range hospitality spaces as well as commercial spaces. In 2020, he returned to the Tokyo Head Office and continues to work mainly on overseas projects.

Makoto Otani GARDE Design Division, Large-scale Facility Design Department, Designe

After joining the company in 2016, he worked in the PM Section of the Brand Business Division, where he managed the interior design work for imported brands opening stores in Japan. In 2019, he joined the Design Section of the Brand Business Division, where he worked as a local architect for imported brands ranging from apparel to cosmetics. In 2021, joined the International Design Division, where he works as a designer on a variety of projects in Japan and abroad, focusing on apparel stores, large-scale commercial facilities, and hospitality design.

Artist #1. Nori Yokoyama  Art Director/Graphic Designer

A 2017 graduate from Graphic Design Department of Tama Art University. In that same year, Yokoyama has Established TANT Inc.He has been active in a wide range of fields including print media, web, video and space, focusing on art direction, graphic design, and illustration. Over his career, he has received numerous awards including DFA Design for Asia Awards, GOOD DESIGN AWARD, and Tokyo Business Design Award.





●Comments from Mr. Yokoyama
Throughout Japan’s long history, Kyoto has especially been a symbol for Japanese culture.
In particular, the area around Sanjo is surrounded by great enthusiasm, where various cultures have long intersected with tradition as its base. It is a place that truly embodies the phrase “learning anew from the past,” and I wanted to paint a huge wall art that would convey this concept directly to visitors.
I printed, drew, collaged, and applied foil onto Kyo Washi, a Japanese paper. Calligraphy and art come from various historical backgrounds, and I included contemporary prints depicting entertainment and culture scenes, using popular paper, to reconstruct “Kyoto” as it was originally built: over a long period of time, and with an overwhelming amount of work.

Artist #2 Hitoshi Tetsuhiko  ASSOCIATED ARTS INC. representative/art director

Established Associated Arts, Inc. in 1991.
Based on his unique perspective of fusing architecture and art, Tetsuhiko has participated in art projects for public facilities, housing complexes, offices, educational facilities, hotels, hospitals, sports facilities, commercial facilities, etc. He has been involved in more than 300 projects as a producer and art director. Major projects include “Akita Prefectural University,” “Shinagawa Central Garden,” “Keio Plaza Hotel Aubade Hall,” “Gora Karaku, Hakone,” and many more.





●Comment from Hitoshi
This artwork is based on Yurina Kira’s work “Stock213” and is customized for the theme of this exhibition by means of reconfiguration and resizing. The reason why we chose “building blocks” is that this shape makes us nostalgic for our childhood. On the other hand, we believe that piling up trees pays homage to the culture and city of Kyoto, which has existed for more than 1,000 years. This time, we used wood block art to represent the four deities that protect the north, south, east, and west of Kyoto (Genbu in the north, Suzaku in the south, Seiryu in the east, and Byakko in the west), as well as the Kyoto Imperial Palace. We hope that through our artwork, visitors will experience the wonder of Kyoto and the depth of Kyoto’s nostalgia, which respects cultural diversity while transforming the energy of each into equilibrium, harmony, and new values.

■Lobby/Restaurant Area Design: A mix of old and new, a space of difference, nostalgia, and separation

Gently reflecting on the Big Table, with a mosaic of old zelkova lumber more than 100 years old since its sawing, is the light from a chandelier made by LASVIT – a lighting fixture with a sculptural beauty created by traditional Bohemian crystal craftsmanship and innovative technology.

By meticulously calculating and accumulating the different snags and feels of the old and new in a beautiful mix, a unique space like no other has been created.

It is also GARDE’s hope that a new community will be nurtured from this place through the power of spatial design.





■Guest Room Design: A place for healing, it is the starting point of everyone’s stay in Kyoto.

The key visual effects by Prince Smart Inn brand are the sloping design on the floor and the interlocking wallpaper on the walls, designed to make the guestrooms look more spacious and stylish.
Additionally, the use of wallpaper with Higashiyama motifs gives guestrooms a Kyoto-Sanjo feel to it. GARDE has designed the rooms keeping in mind the theme of creating a space where guests can enjoy their stay in the historical city more actively than ever before, taking the simplicity of the rooms as a plus.





We hope that through our design, many people will come and go at Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Sanjo, and that this will become part of the new scenery (history) of Kyoto Sanjo and be written in its history.

◆ Prince Hotel “Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Sanjo”
This hotel is conveniently located in the center of Kyoto, an approximate 8-minute walk from Sanjo Station (Keihan Main Line), and a 5-minute walk from Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae Station ( Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line).
The five-story guest room building has 137 guest rooms and is the next-generation hotel brand of Prince Hotel. It offers a modern machiya-style exterior, a contemporary and innovative lobby design with a Kyoto motif, and a seamless service through the introduction of ICT and AI technology.
This will be the second location in Kyoto City, following the Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Shijo Omiya, which opened on May 31, 2021.

◆About the Facilities
Official name: Prince Smart Inn Kyoto Sanjo
Location: 325 Maruya-cho, Sanjo-Agaru, Gokomachi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City
Site area: approx. 1,025.83 m2
Legal gross floor area: approx. 4,149.73 m2
Structure and scale: Steel-frame structure, 5 floors above ground
Completion of construction: January 31, 2022
Number of guest rooms: 137 (105 twin rooms / 32 double rooms)
Guest room area: 16.27 m2 ~ 25.98 m2
Ancillary facilities: Restaurant (66 seats *including lobby area), Laundry

Building Owner: KRD Maruyacho Development Tokutei Mokuteki Gaisha (Asset Manager; Kanden Real Estate Development Corporation (Kita-ku, Osaka))
Management: Seibu Prince Hotels Worldwide, Inc. (Head office: Toshima-ku, Tokyo)
Design and supervision: Toyo Sekkei Office, Inc. (Head office: Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto)
Design supervision: Shigerei Uoya Architectural Institute Inc. (Head office: Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto)
Construction: Tokyu Corporation Kansai Branch (Kita-ku, Osaka)
Interior supervision: GARDE Corporation (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Photo:©Yohei Sasakura

◆Scope of work
Interior concept planning, basic interior planning, basic interior design, interior supervision

GARDE to Design the Interior of the Jewelry Theme Zone on the 2nd Floor of Beijing Xidan Daeyue City!

On September 30, 2021, a new jewelry zone was opened on the 2nd floor of Xidan Joy City (Da Yue City), located in the heart of North Beijing and is one of the most prominent commercial areas in the city. JOYCITY is a shopping center operated by Grand Joy throughout China, of which Xidan JOY CITY is the core store with particularly high sales and name recognition.

This time, we provided basic planning, basic design, implementation design, and design supervision for a brand editorial theme zone with jewelry brands targeting mainly young people concentrated in one corner of the facility. We have dispelled the brand image of a traditional jewelry store, which tends to be avoided by younger customers due to its emphasis on luxury. A signature mix of café spaces and other spaces where people can casually drop by has been created to create a my-first space with diversity.

The keywords for the design concept were (1) Mine (mining/my) and (2) Shine (sparkle of jewelry/brilliance of life), derived from the characteristics of jewelry. We created a space that evokes a mine shaft with a sense of “softness,” “brightness,” “cleanliness,” and “calmness,” thereby expressing a sense of unity as a zone. At the same time, we were conscious of not losing the concept and spatial expression of each brand and completed the new space with a sense of unity as a zone and the individuality of each brand.

◆Design Concept

The creation of new and unprecedented spaces and how they can be integrated with commercial facilities is the source of inspiration for this design.The design concept was to create a space that evokes a mine shaft with a sense of softness, brightness, cleanliness, and serenity, based on the keywords (1) Mine (mining/my) and (2) Shine (sparkle of jewelry/brilliance of life), which were derived from the characteristics of jewelry.

◆Design keywords

(1) Mine (mining/my)

“Mine” means not only “mining” but also “my, exclusively my own, my family”. We wanted this space to be a familiar and warm place where visitors can find special memories for themselves, their loved ones, and their families. To this end, we have given the space a soft and elegant presentation that touches the softest part of one’s heart.

(2) Shine (sparkle of jewelry/brilliance of life)

The special brilliance of precious metals as well as the meaning of will, vitality, mystery, and the sparkle of life that guides the future. The radiance emitted by gold jewelry is expressed this space by through the light emitted from the gaps between the clouds and the light spots.

◆Spatial Direction

Ribbons are skillfully utilized throughout the space. The winding tunnels add a ribbon-like softness that naturally leads visitors deeper into the zone. Everyone is drawn to each branching store as if to explore and discover. The light inside the stores shines through irregularly sized holes in the storefront partitions, leaking out into the aisles. The zone consists of one island store and eight retail units surrounding it. We have combined our island shop with retail and a café, designing the BrandMiX space to include a rest space where people can stop by casually. A common space near the entrance is open to everyone, creating a natural flow to the jewelry area. In addition, as an aesthetic creation, a landscape of small plants signifying hope and the future were placed to convey the effort to implement measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which is spreading worldwide, and that the coronavirus must be contained as soon as possible. Evergreen natural mosses were combined to create hills of varying heights and scattered throughout the public areas to complete a simple yet mysterious, garden-like shopping space experience space that is soothing in its quietness.

















■Designer Profile

Masahito Kamekawa
Design Division, Large-scale Facility Design, Senior Designer

Kamekawa has had many achievements in large commercial facilities such as department stores and shopping malls, both in Japan and overseas. He was involved in the concept design of the Hankyu Umeda Main Store rebuilding project (1F-3F) and the concept design and schematic design of the Shinsaibashi Daimaru rebuilding project (4F-5F and B1 Fashion Sundries). He was awarded the Asia Pacific Property Award 2016 for “Joy Yard” in JOYCITY, a commercial facility in Beijing, and a special award in the Architecture and Branding category of the Architizer A+ Award 2017 for the shoe department on the 2nd floor of JOYCITY. Kamekawa’s recent achievements include the concept design of Suzhou Joy Breeze and the concept design and schematic design of Beijing Joy Breeze.

Scope of work

Concept Design、Schematic Design、Design Development、Design Supervision、Lighting Design

Property Information

Name: Beijing Xidan Daecheng 2F Jewelry Theme Zone

Official opening: September 30, 2021

Location: No.131 Xidan North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China

Store area: 1700m2 (2nd floor)



Yanji Department Store 6th floor kids and living floor renovation designed by GARDE!

Located in Yanji City, Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province, China, the high-end department store Yanji Baicao Dalou is the No. 1 department store in the region, representing the city.

Yanji Department Store launched a floor-by-floor renovation project, and GARDE provided basic planning, basic design, implementation design, design supervision, and lighting design for the 6th floor, which is the first renovated floor.

The sixth floor originally consisted of only living room-related products, but by relocating the kids’ products section, which was located on the bridge between the buildings, we targeted families and created a living room and kids’ floor that families would gravitate towards.

This time,by reimaging the floor as a large house, we came up with the design concept”Resort House–with a resort-like atmosphere where everyone can gather and adults and children alike can relax and have fun.”

Each zone has a different design concept, such as “Soft Form”, “Natural Material”, and “Sun Light”, all of which gives a sense of warmth and openness. As a result, we designed a space in which people can enjoy walking around, moving through various “rooms” while maintaining a sense of unity.Using light colors, rounded forms, and a lot of wood, we have created”enveloping gentleness,” “natural materials”, and “warmth and openness”. In both the living zone and the kids’ zone, the ceiling design is switched to create a space that feels like a relaxing and warm resort-like home.

The living room zone is designed with warm wood flooring, tiles that give a sense of nature, wood and plaster materials, and design lighting that gives a sense of airiness.

On the other hand, for the kids’ zone, we designed a pop-up space with characteristic shapes, light coloring, and a playful ceiling design, a space with the image of a courtyard, a bright and warm children’s space with pillars based on lighting motifs, warm wood with moderate partitions, and a terrace space that looks like an outdoor playground with soft lighting like sunlight. The result is a space that makes families want to gather together.

















■Designer Profile
Yutaka Yamamoto
Design Division, Senior Director
Active mainly in the design and direction of large commercial facilities such as department stores, he was in charge of sales floor environment design for the Hankyu Umeda Main Store reconstruction project, overall direction for Nishinomiya Hankyu, and design of the 3rd and 4th floors for the entire Ginza Mitsukoshi store renovation. Overseas, he was in charge of the renovation of the entire DOOTA building in Seoul, the new PARKSON store in Johor Bahru, etc. In 2019, he was in charge of the design of the watch area on the 5th floor of Isetan Shinjuku, and he was the general design director of Ningbo Hankyu, which opened in 2021.

Akihisa Wakayama
Design Division, Large-scale Facility Design Department, Chief Designer
After working on the design of large-scale commercial facilities at a domestic design firm, he joined Garde in 2021.While designing mainly large commercial facilities such as department stores, he has also worked on many specialty stores. He is currently working on a wide range of projects mainly in Asia.


Scope of work

Concept Design、Schematic Design、Design Development、Design Supervision、Lighting Design

Property Information

Name: Yanji Department Store 6th floor (kids and living room floor)

Official opening: November 20, 2021

Location: No.608 Guangming Street, Yanji City, Jilin Province

Store area:7,567㎡ (6th floor)



The grand opening of Renhan Isetan Building A, a new shopping museum in Tianjin, China, on Thursday, September 30, 2021. GARDE provided the design for the common areas.

Renhan Isetan is a new shopping museum in Tianjin, one of the largest cities in China, which is experiencing rapid economic growth. It consists of three commercial buildings (Building A: 7 levels / Building B: 2 levels / Building C: 7 levels), residences (on the upper floors of Building A and B) and offices (on the upper floors of Building C,). It is a large-scale complex of commercial, residential, and business facilities.The three buildings can be accessed via connecting passageways, and each building is equipped with a parking lot in the basement, making it a commercial facility with a structure that is highly convenient and easy for customers to move around.

It is also conveniently located directly connected to the Southeast Corner Station of Metro Line 2 and is expected to attract even more customers after the completion of Metro Line 4 (scheduled to open at the end of 2021). It is expected to become a new landmark in Tianjin, as it is surrounded by some of the most prestigious residential areas in Tianjin, office buildings of leading Chinese companies, and tourist spots such as the Old Culture Street in the north and the Italian Street in the east.

Building A, which held its grand opening on Thursday, September 30, covers a wide range of categories from food to lifestyle, and offers a wide variety of Japanese content and products that are popular in China. Based on the concept of “Shopping Museum – Value Up Your Moment”, it is a space that provides a valuable time for all customers, a space that helps to enrich their lives, and a new shopping experience that will remain in their memories.

In response to the mall concept of “providing a place that hints at new lifestyles for customers,” GARDE planned and designed the floor concept of “Shopping Museum,” a space that crosses over between the elements of a high-quality and sophisticated department store and those of a shopping center that responds to diverse needs.

The store design concept was “Live Experience Museum”, and each floor was designed with a themed zone to promote the world view and reinforce specialization. For example, the cosmetics floor on the first floor features a futuristic beauty experience through the introduction of a digital experience-type store. At the same time, the curved shape of the entire floor expresses “feminine gentleness and warmth” and “a sense of the near future,” while also creating a sense of fun as one moves around the floor. The result is a space where you can always find something new, and where simply visiting here is a pleasure.











■Scope of work
Floor design for B2F, 1F, and 3F: basic planning, basic design, implementation design, supervision, construction coordination, and other FFE proposals.
B2F supermarket / B1F independent shops / 2F independent select stores / 3F independent shops (toys, shoes) / 4F VIP lounge: basic planning, basic design, implementation design, supervision, construction coordination Other FFE proposals.
■Property Information
Name: Renhan Isetan
Official opening: September 30, 2021 *only Building A
Location: No. 137 and No. 139 Dongma Road, Nankai District, Tianjin, China
Store area: approx. 58,000㎡ (Building A: 2 basement floors, 5 aboveground floors)

Suzhou JOY BREEZE: China’s Next-Generation Shopping Mall, to Open.

Following the opening of Beijing Daxing JOY BREEZE in December last year, Suzhou JOY BREEZE opened on September 25, 2021.

Suzhou JOY BREEZE is a large-scale residential and commercial complex located in the rapidly developing north Suzhou area, offering a high quality and sophisticated lifestyle to rich and new generation of families in their 20’s and 30’s. It offers a variety of tenants, including domestic and foreign luxury brands, leisure, entertainment, and restaurants. The basement floor is directly connected to the subway and has a parking lot with a capacity of over 4,000 cars. As a shopping mall that plays a role in the revitalization of the area, it blends in with the rich nature of the surrounding area to form a town.

GARDE, as with Beijing Daxing, was involved in the basic planning, basic design, implementation design, supervision, and construction coordination of the interior design, and incorporated a lot of FFE furniture and green plants.

The design concept is “Connected”. Based on the “aesthetics of transcending space” found in Japanese architecture, the outside and inside are not strictly separated. Rather, by creating a space with a harmony of richness, comfort, and pleasant atmosphere, a commercial space that feels like and coexists with nature is achieved.

The sense of fluidity and dynamism in nature is expressed in the motifs of “Flowing,” “Natural,” and “Organic,” which can be considered the DNA of JOY BREEZE. The three large atriums catch the eye in the building and create a beautiful and dynamic space with delicate details based on the design theme of “flowing water”, “flowing wind”, and “pulsating earth”. By creating three different scenes, visitors will never get bored and can enjoy walking around the building.












Scope of work
Interior design: basic planning, basic design, implementation design, supervision, construction coordination
Other FFE proposals

Property Information
Name: Suzhou JOY BREEZE
Official opening: September 25, 2021
Location: Xiangcheng District, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Management floors: 6 above ground, 1 basement floor
Building area: approx. 180,000m2 (approx. 30,000m2 for indoor common areas)

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