New Hotel in Mexico City Channels Japanese Zen
A new hotel in Mexico City’s Cuauhtémoc neighbourhood is inspired by Japanese culture, with flourishes of Mexico in the materials. We take a look inside the Ryo Kan hotel.
Japan comes to Mexico City
A new hotel in the heart of Mexico City’s “Little Tokyo” neighbourhood brings Japanese zen to this vibrant and often chaotic metropolis. Ryo Kan, which is a type of accommodation typical of Japan, is a new hotel in the Cuauhtémoc area, and marries Japanese customs with Mexican identity. The hotel is billed as a “new concept of hospitality” called Japmex, whose refreshing architecture, interior design and services reflect Japan’s values of tranquility and calmness in a Mexican context. Designed by Regina Galvanduque of architecture firm GLVDK, the hotel is organised around a narrow courtyard which reflects the buildings tight plot. The courtyard has all of the trappings of a Japanese zen garden, from the natural light that pours down from above to the serene benches and tables which are designed in a minimal manner and clad in a pale terrazzo finish which is also used to cover the walls, unifying the space in a relaxed harmony.
Ryo Kan has ten bedrooms that are organised around the periphery of the internal courtyard, and the rooms are based on the layout of five typical Kyoto lodgings which are popular with millennials. Each room has a different name, giving it its own particular identity. These smart rooms are able to be controlled via an app which lets guests manage the lighting, music and privacy. There are lots of traditional Japanese features in the room, such as dividing screens, robes and tatami mats and cushions to take tea on the floor.
Japan in the details
Guests to the hotel are first made aware of its connection to Japan through the external facade, which is constructed from white folds to mimic origami paper. On the communal rooftop, guests can enjoy four circular jacuzzis, which are reminiscent of Japanese hot springs. In the custom designed shelves that proliferate in the common areas, items with Japanese significance have been placed in these nooks, and some are covered with a mesh made from bejuco vine, which is native to Mexico but recalls Japanese screens.
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