〝Candeo Hotel Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku“, 〝Ningbo Hankyu, and〝Beijin Xidan JoyCity ”2F Jewelry Theme Zone″ all designed by GARDE were awarded in the “MUSE DESIGN AWARDS 2022”!

The MUSE DESIGN AWARDS were established in New York to honor creative and design professionals and is a well-known and well-recognized competition that is open globally.

It is organized by the International Awards Associate (IAA), which aims to promote excellence in various creative and design industries by providing a forum for professionals to compete against their peers.

The IAA maintains impartiality by having a review committee composed of industry professionals as well as by having an established evaluation criteria based on industry standards.

The mission of the judges is to seek out companies and individuals with exceptional talent that will become new benchmarks in their respective industries.


In 2022, more than 6,000 entries were received from all over the world, among which “Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku” and “Ningbo Hankyu” designed by GARDE were awarded GOLD and “Beijing Xidan Joycity 2F Jewelry Theme Zone” was awarded SILVER.


■Features of each property…

The” Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku” preserved and restored a valuable machiya (townhouse). It was the former Banke Residence, a tangible cultural property registered by the city of Kyoto. It does not simply make the old new, beautiful, and easy to use; but also, further optimizes the “completed design” (the optimal solution) at a high level.


Ningbo Hankyu” was designed to be an oasis where people can gather and spend time comfortably, and to transmit Japanese elements, not simply expressing traditional Japanese culture as it is, but sublimating it into a modern design.


The “Beijin Xidan JoyCity 2F Jewelry Theme Zone” was designed as a “BrandMix” space with a casual café space, rather than a classical space with a heavy emphasis on luxury like a conventional jewelry store.


We believe that winning the “MUSE DESIGN AWARDS 2022” serves as proof that GARDE’s originality, ingenuity, and thoroughness in design creation have been recognized around the world.


GARDE enters numerous national and international awards each year with the goal of spreading the word about the excellence of its space and design, even after the property design is completed.


・MUSE DESIGN AWARD official website:

“VMware Japan Office” designed by GARDE has been awarded the “iF DESIGN AWARD 2022”!

The iF DESIGN AWARD, sponsored by the Germany-based International Forum Design (Industrial Design Association), was established in 1953 and is well-known worldwide.

In 2022, more than 10,000 entries were received from over 60 countries, and 132 renowned design experts from over 20 countries selected outstanding designs based on the criteria of “IDEA,” “FORM,” “FUNCTION,” “DIFFERENTIATION,” and “IMPACT” to discover the next rising stars in the design world.


The new workplace for VMware Japan, designed by GARDE, was awarded the iF DESIGN AWARD 2022.


The concept of the space design is simple and understated yet projects future technology.   The design is inspired by a unique Japanese concept of uramasari, which has an inner richness, expression, and color that is hidden by a humble and unassuming exterior.


The concept is expressed by making the visitor area subtle and harmonious while the staff area is colorful and expressive.

This focus on flexibility and collaboration serves a role in inspiring and facilitating new ways of working.


GARDE enters numerous national and international awards each year with the goal of inspiring others with the excellence of our space and design well after the design is completed.


・iF DESIGN AWARD official website



Four GARDE-designed properties won awards at the International Design Awards 2021!

The International Design Awards (IDA) was established in 2007 to discover, recognize, and promote excellence in architecture, interior, product, graphic, and fashion design from around the world.

The jury consists of professionals with more than 15 years of experience in their respective industries, and entries are judged randomly and anonymously to ensure fair and impartial judging.

The awards are not simply for beauty or artistic value, but also for innovation (providing new creations for the market or complementing/improving existing products and services), functionality (ease of use, safety, ease of maintenance), ergonomics (is it based on user-first principles?), durability (quality and longevity), and social impact (social benefits of the design), utility (does it meet the user’s objectives and needs), ecological compatibility (are potential environmental and ecological impacts addressed), production feasibility (technical and economic realities of production and large-scale use), Emotional Quotient / EQ (achievement of practical objectives and design enjoyment and satisfaction) the criteria are said to be wide-ranging and demanding, including the achievement of practical objectives and design enjoyment and satisfaction.

For such an award as the IDAs, four properties, “THE ME,” “Gurney Food Hall,” “VMware,” and “KL EAST MALL,” received Honorable Mentions. They were recognized for their originality and special design.


GARDE enters numerous national and international awards each year with the goal of spreading the word about the excellence of its space and design, even after the property design is completed.


■International Design Awards official website:


Redesigned Architecture from Around the World

In December, GARDE and the Faculty of Architecture, The University of Da Nang, Vietnam co-hosted a web seminar titled “Tradition and Future”. In the seminar, participants exchanged passionate presentations on the achievements and examples of redesign and rebranding of traditional architecture in Japan and Vietnam, as well as the state of architecture and design in the post-corona era.

When you hear the words “tradition and future,” what comes to mind? Most of them are probably visible things such as culture, design, and form. Of course, they are inextricably linked to tradition and the future. However, in the creation of things such as architecture, the atmosphere and smell of the time period, the technology, the thoughts, hopes, efforts and struggles of the creator, and many other elements are included.

In recent years, there has also been an increase in the consideration of social issues such as “sustainability,” “SDGs,” and “environmental issues.” In architecture, consideration of environmental aspects, versatility, and sustainability in architectural design is becoming more important throughout the design, construction, and operation stages.

This means that the pursuit of “rationalism,” “humanism,” “progressivism,” and “convenience” promoted by modernization, where all that is needed is to innovate and cultivate customers, is becoming unacceptable in the future. It may mean that concepts and mechanisms such as “how does it work for sustainable development of society” and “what methods can be used to solve social issues” will become the pillars of product creation.This is not the first time that we are addressing social issues. Environmental architecture that is sustainable has been adopted in buildings dating back more than 200 years.

In this issue, we would like to introduce you to “redesigned architecture” that conveys a grand historical story and a tribute to the past.

Candeo Hotel Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku (Kyoto, Japan)

Opened in June 2021, Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku is a redesign of the former Banke residence, a traditional machiya house registered as a tangible cultural property by the city of Kyoto. Among the machiya houses, the “Former Banke Family Residence” is a valuable building that retains the atmosphere of the time.The tatami room, which consists of the main room and the next room, has been finished in a sukiya style with menkawabashira pillars and menkawanageshi screens.In addition, the main room has a floor, shelves, and a hirashoin, and the shelves are decorated with ink paintings by Taiga Ikeno. It is an excellent design, with no skimping on details. In order to maximize the charm of the building, the tatami mats in the reception room, lounge, and bar have been kept intact, while the original courtyard has been preserved, and the reception room on the first floor has been carefully designed so that visitors can enjoy the Kyoto machiya space while relaxing.

The building consists of three wings: the reception wing, the guest room wing, and the large bathroom wing. In particular, the reception room, bar and lounge in the reception building are made from the original tatami space. The reception room features sliding doors with ink paintings by Taiga Ikeno, a literary painter from Kyoto, and a sandalwood-scented entrance to create a relaxing space reminiscent of Japan. In the bar space, the hanging lights on the street floor seen through the latticed windows create an atmosphere like watching lanterns displayed at a festival, creating the feeling of living in a machiya.

During the Gion Festival, which is the busiest time of the year in Kyoto, a float (Jomyozan) is assembled in front of the hotel. It is a valuable redesigned building where you can feel the history and atmosphere of Kyoto close at hand.

Former Sakuramiya Public Hall (Osaka, Japan)

The former Sakuramiya Public Hall was built in 1935 as the Meiji Emperor Memorial Hall and was renamed the Sakuramiya Public Hall in 1948 after the war. The main entrance, made of tatsuyama stone, is a replica of the entrance of the Mint (now known as the Mint Bureau), which was built in 1871 by British architect and civil engineer Thomas James Waters. It is one of the oldest existing modern buildings in Japan and is designated as a national important cultural asset. It was the façade of Japan’s first real Western-style large factory complex, or foundry.

Incidentally, Thomas Waters was involved in the construction of the Osaka Mint, various Western-style factories for sugar, spinning, and paper, the Takebashi Jinei Clock Tower, and the British Legation. Japan’s first Hoffman-style wheeled kiln was built in Kosuge Village (now known as Kosuge, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo) to manufacture the bricks used in the Ginza Red Bricktown. He was one of the first important figures to bring Western-style architecture to Japan from the end of the Edo period to the early Meiji period.

After becoming the Sakuramiya Public Hall, it was used for various purposes such as a library and a youth art gallery before being closed in 2007. To save the building, which was an important cultural asset but had been abandoned without any use, the city of Osaka and a private company decided to launch a project to effectively utilize the historical asset.

Under the concept of “a fusion of the old and the new,” the project was designed to bring a modern sense of design to the building, while preserving the dignity and beauty of its history. The building was revived as the “Old Sakuramiya Public Hall” by restoring the original features such as he decorative ceiling, stage, and large arched windows have been restored to the way they were when the building was completed 78 years ago, and balancing the classic feel with the newly introduced furnishings and design. It is now a memorial space for wedding ceremonies and continues to create happy stories for many people.

■Soldier Field (Chicago, USA)

After World War I, many memorials and buildings were built to remember those who lost their lives in the war. One such memorial is the Greek Revival Soldier Field (1924) in the city of Chicago.Designed by Holabird and Roche in 1919 and featuring a huge Doric arcade, it was officially opened on November 27, 1926 at the 29th Army-Navy Game and. It has been home to the Chicago Bears football team since 1971.In 2003, the stadium was renovated by Wood and Zapata in conjunction with Chicago-based Rohan Caprile Gesch Associates, but the renovation remains controversial to this day. Finally, in 2006, the building was removed from the National Register of Historic Places. Let’s just say that preservationists and sports fans have their own ideas here…

As for the renovations, the reinforced concrete shell was retained, and the interior was redesigned with asymmetrical curved steel and glass fixtures. By demolishing the old and cramped sections, the overall capacity was reduced, but the distance between the spectators’ seats and the field became closer, and the space was successfully reborn with a live atmosphere.

While some critics have called it an “unsightly addition to the Lakeshore” and an “acropolis disaster.” However, many people have defended and praised the space-like design and design.

This is a wonderful building that shows the hard work and dedication of the people involved in this project, not to mention the difficulty of renovating a historic facility to satisfy both fans and conservationists.



Utilization of Idle Assets and the SDGs

During the two months from October to December, we held a series of four free web seminars on “Idle Assets: Effective Utilization of Closed School Sites. In recent years, due to the decline in the number of students caused by the declining birthrate and municipal mergers, about 500 public schools have been closed every year, as you may already know.

It is a great loss to the community and a negative impact on the safety and environment of the community when schools, which are supposed to be valuable assets and symbols of the community, are left idle because there is no clear way for them to be reused in the community. Against this background, finding new uses for closed school buildings is one of the projects that the public and private sectors should work together on. The important point here is whether the approach and strategy are formulated based on the promotion of the SDGs. The SDGs, which were adopted at the UN General Assembly held at UN Headquarters in New York in September 2015 as actions that are extremely important for humanity and the future, can now be said to be the basis for all value creation.

In this article, we would like to explore the key words for utilizing idle assets through examples of SDGs strategies from around the world.

■What are SDGs?

In September 2015, a text named “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development/Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was adopted by the UN General Assembly. This is the text that describes the sustainable development goals used in the name of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Based on the principle of “leave no one behind,” 17 goals and 169 targets have been set for 2030. At the beginning of the text, there are five key words that state that the future after 2030 can be seen by intertwining all aspects of “people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.

Five keywords ➡

The 17 goals ➡

■Thinking about the SDGs from the perspective of idle assets

#1. Local development x SDGs 

As we consider the goal of the SDGs – a world, society, and local communities that develop sustainably – there is a growing concern about the rapid depopulation of Japan’s local communities, especially in rural and mountainous areas. The decline of local industries and the deterioration of the living environment will accelerate the decline of the population, which will eventually lead to the decline of local communities and the threat of the disappearance of settlements. Now that it has become clear that it is no longer possible for local governments to provide the kind of services to residents that they have in the past, based on the premise of population growth, there is a need to establish a new model for maintaining local communities and building sustainable communities by optimally utilizing limited human and material resources. This is the time to establish optimal use of our limited human and material resources for maintaining local communities and building sustainable communities.

In May 2014, the Japan Creation Council (chaired by Hiroya Masuda) released a report that more than half (896) of the 1,800 municipalities in Japan could “disappear” by 2040, causing a huge shock. In response, in September of the same year, the government established the Headquarters for the Creation of New Town, New Human Resources, and New Work, and began full-scale efforts to create new regions. Since then, several policies have been put forward to actively utilize the SDGs in regional development.

#2. Social, Economic, and Environment x SDGs

The SDGs are about viewing “economy,” “society,” and “environment” as inseparable, and using the issues faced by each of them as inputs to create new value while solving them.

We believe that the concept of “design thinking,” which architectural design firms like ours are best at, will come into play. Design Thinking is not only used in the design process, but also in the management and business development of global companies such as Apple, Google, P&G, etc. In recent years, Japanese companies have also become more interested in this way of thinking due to changes in the market structure. It is composed of five major processes.

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

The process of creating new products and services through repeated trial and error and testing with actual customers and users is a process in which stakeholders, such as companies and organizations like ours, gather information on issues from local residents and governments, define issues and needs, come up with ideas, create prototypes based on those ideas, and test them on actual customers and users. Design Thinking is characterized by its ability to think from the standpoint of the users of the product or service, and to seek fundamental solutions, rather than simply solving problems and issues that have surfaced.

From these points of view, we can say that “sustainability,” which is the basis of the SDGs, is a good match for “utilization of idle assets.

■SDGs around the world

In the world, there are many SDG achievements with resilience and coexistence as keywords. It can be said to be a picture of individuals, communities, organizations, businesses, and social systems achieving sustainable growth while adapting to social challenges, and to address the issue of how to create a common identity and emotional attachment for local residents with different backgrounds. We have been working with not only local residents but also other stakeholders such as corporations, NGOs, universities, and the third sector under the concept of “collaboration and co-creation”.Here, we would like to introduce the case of Veile, Denmark as one example amongst the SDGs in the world.







Veile is located in the southern part of the Jutland Peninsula, bordering Germany on the continental side of Europe. It is the only city in Scandinavia to be selected as one of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC). 100RC is a project initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation in the United States in 2013. The foundation selects 100 cities from around the world, and with the support of the foundation, formulates a resilience strategy and builds an international network. Kyoto City and Toyama City were selected from Japan.
Back in Veile, in 2016, the strategy was formulated under the slogan “A sustainable city for all”. In particular, it focuses on three areas: citizen participation, digitalization, and building social resilience. In recent years, the city has become a source of economic growth and innovation with the emergence of many IT companies and start-ups. In 2012, it was awarded as the city with the most advanced social integration with refugees in Denmark.
There are five major challenges facing Veile.
① Climate change and flood risk (many floods and unexpected heavy rains have occurred in recent years)
② Urbanization (impact on the natural environment due to increased traffic)
③ Increased needs for infrastructure (IT to support digital life, aging of existing infrastructure)
④ Changes in industrial structure, global economy (impact on local employment)
⑤ Demographic change (weakening of social bonds)
The following four strategies were identified as approaches to the problem.
❶A city where co-creation is born
❸ A city that is flexible to climate change
❸ Socially resilient cities
❹ Smart city
“Co-creation” is what Veile is focusing on the most as “citizen engagement and co-creation”. Specifically, Veile has set up a welfare laboratory to support citizens with disabilities living in the facilities by holding art festivals with experts in various fields. In addition, an expo is scheduled to be completed in 2040 to display the challenges Vaile is facing and how to solve them, and a living laboratory is being developed to implement solutions in collaboration with various Stakeholders.
Next is “climate change”. Water has always been a symbol of the city and a part of life, as evidenced by the fact that the name Veile is derived from the word meaning “fjord” and that people settled in the valley of a tributary of the Vaile River in the 12th century. However, due to recent climate change, it is estimated that the fjord facing the city will rise by 25 cm by 2050 and 69 cm by 2100. The water, which is a symbol for Veile, has become a source of disaster risk. In order to minimize the risk of flooding, plans are underway to redevelop the waterfront area facing the fjord and to install water level control equipment. We are also making efforts to promote the use of bicycles. The use of bicycles reduces CO2 in the atmosphere, improves the health and wellbeing of citizens, and reduces the social cost of gasoline-run vehicles. Plans are also underway to build a bike path in the center of the city.
Lastly, “Resilient and Smart Cities”, in other words, aims to ensure the safety and security of the city while integrating with the ever-increasing number of immigrants, strengthen the connection between the younger generation and society, and create shareable resources with the public and private sectors.
For example, a citizen’s farm program called “Grow Veile” provides citizens who do not have a garden with the opportunity to rent a field and grow organic crops with less environmental impact, and the city’s police, schools, nurses, businessmen, and counselors work together to develop programs and tools to combat crime and identify suspicious people. A variety of initiatives are being planned and implemented to help new and old citizens develop an identity with the city and strengthen their ties to society.
At Veile, people with different expertise from the private sector, government, research institutions, and the third sector gather to realize co-creation, and think and develop new ideas and services to address the issues. From this, we can see how they are not just developing solutions, but also approaching and interacting with local residents.
The various approaches promoted by Denmark and Veile, including the creation of a “public-private collaboration space” in the form of a living laboratory, can be said to be very helpful for the utilization of idle assets.


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