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© marriott international


Project: W Osaka Client & ownership: Sekisui House Hotel operator: Marriott International Project location: Osaka designer: concrete Project team: Rob Wagemans, Bart de Beer, Julia Hundermark, Sofie Ruytenberg, Cathelijne Vreugdenhil, Femke Zumbrink, Marlou Spierts, Sylvie Meuffels, Rene Kroondijk, Erik van Dillen, Valentina Venturi, Petra Moerbeek, Minouk Balster Photo credit: marriott international


Situated on Midosuji Boulevard, a new 27-story landmark high-rise, designed by Nikken Sekkei and with a Tadao Ando supervised facade, is the home of Japan's first W Hotel. Don't be deceived by its simple black monolith design – inside hides a world of extravagance! Its interior is inspired by the many facets of the city, welcoming guests to experience Osaka, through the eyes of concrete.
The true spirit of Osaka
Every W Hotel is designed for its specific location – with foreign designers invited to offer the fresh perspectives of an outsider. For W’s first hotel in Japan, concrete absorbed the sites, sounds, flavors and thrills of Osaka. From the simple beauty of the cherry blossoms and gingko trees lining the Midosuji Boulevard to the vibrant neon and busy streetscape of Osaka’s nightlife district Dotonburi. Concrete found inspiration in both the simple and traditional, as well as the modern, obsessive and extravagant and created a design concept of extravagant simplicity - celebrating the true spirit of the city.

The arrival
The “wow” experience begins as you enter the long arrival tunnel from the main Midōsuji Boulevard entrance. Inspired by delicate blossoms and the fine art of origami, more than 3000 circles were laser cut into sturdy metal and folded randomly. The lights behind the abstract blossom change colors with the 4 seasons and shift in intensity from daytime to night – creating an otherworldly portal into the world of W Osaka. The Osaka experience proceeds in the arrival lobby. Here, the asanoha pattern was the inspiration behind the ceiling, flooring and staircase. A simple yet bold ceiling uses a scaled-up, 3D version of this traditional geometric pattern – which is reflected in the pattern on the granite flooring, in 6 dark grey shades.

The social heart - living room & bar
In a standard hotel, the first thing guests see is the check-in counter. Instead, when exiting the lift, W Osaka guests immediately see the bar, the social heart of the hotel. To connect and separate the spaces that serve the W Osaka guests on this floor  –  like an endless shoji screen  –  a continuous white, sheer curtain with sharp origami-style pleats flows from here to there and around again.

Guests are welcome to relax (and people-watch) in the hotel’s Living Room – half indoors, and half outdoors. Above the indoors lounge floats a wild cloud of rectangular lamps, hanging vertically and horizontally, at various heights. White zigzag “neon” lights shine through the translucent acrylic forms, in a desaturated homage to Osaka's electric nightlife scenery. It's like the colors of the neon have dripped on top of the furniture, and are arranged from purple to pink to orange to yellow to blue to green.