Onomichi U2 - Hiroshima - Japan
Japanese studio Suppose Design Office has converted a seafront warehouse into a specialist cycling centre with a hotel that allows guests to check-in while still on their bikes. Hotel Cycle forms part of Onomichi U2, a complex dedicated to cycling culture created by Suppose Design Office in a renovated warehouse in Onomichi, WWa coastal city in Hiroshima Prefecture.
The complex also includes a bike shop, a bar and restaurant, and a clothing shop that caters specifically to cyclists. The architects retained the building’s original shell, exposing original brickwork and concrete. A metal-framed staircase leads to the main concourse, while industrial-style light fittings were installed in the restaurant and bar, both intended to reference the city's shipbuilding history. The hotel sits on one end of a central lobby and has 28 suites split across two levels. The upstairs rooms are accessed from a double staircase in the foyer. Bedrooms come with wall hooks that allow guests to display their bicycles when not in use. On the other side of the lobby, shop and restaurant areas are arranged with an open-plan layout that takes up the full height of the building. Concrete columns help to partition different sections. Plants are interspersed throughout, and wooden furniture pieces are accompanied by wireframe shelving and lighting fixtures. Both shops and the hotel can be accessed from the boardwalk as well as from the main road.
From the architects:
“Onomichi U2 is the result of adaptive reuse of an old seaside warehouse into the new interactive space for Onomichi city, Hiroshima, Japan. We sought to achieve the prosperous future by enhancing the charm of this town with the theme of this project “cycle.”
Many tourists, cyclists especially, visit Onomichi city, where have come to know it as the town with beautiful hills and “machiya” or Japanese-style houses of antiquity. In 2013 the city of Onomichi accepted our proposal to utilize a seaside warehouse as a new interactive space for the city’s citizens. Our proposal called for a complete conversion of the warehouse into a place that included hotel, cycle shop, open areas,
bars, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and retail. We incorporated elements into the re-creation of the seaside warehouse that were reminiscent of the character of Onomichi itself.
Our building materials – wood, mortar, and steel – recall the old houses of Onomichi and the shipbuilding that’s been such a longstanding tradition there. Such as the lighting that would remind us fish lamps.
We identified the concept for this project as “Cycle”. We describe this phenomenon as the discovery of newness in a place long established.
This newness cleanly expresses the long-standing character so cherished by the city’s people.
We believe that the new significance of sustainability is not only about environment also a renovation of the building. In this project, we thought about a small public in the warehouse by re-editing the character of Onomichi-city. This makes the people in the city loves that old warehouse and keep that long time by several renovation. This is a new style of a sustainability.
Onomichi city has mild climate condition which includes moderate wind and plenty of sunlight through the year. We had tried to optimize the daylight condition in the building. We visited at the site at first, the brightness in the warehouse was slightly only by the intake of the daylight from some of skylights. So we tried to improve the visual environment according to renovating the existing steel doors as the window. With the successful to ensure a lot of daylight for the entire building, we arranged the commercial and restaurant location in the brighter area, and hotel in other area.
We also focused on the prevailing wind in the site. Originally in mid-season and summer, there is southern wind from Seto inland sea in daytime and it changes to northern wind from mountain side in night.
We allocated the several ventilating windows in both south and north wall, and designed the stable natural wind flow all through the day. And in midsummer and winter, 50 units of radiators passing chilled water/hot water which allocated in entire building can help to maintain the moderate thermal environment.”
[project selected by Lorenzo Gatta]