Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

 

I realise it was only recently that we paid our respect to the celebrated Australian architect Kerry Hill who sadly passed away a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist sharing another one of his beautiful projects – and one of my personal favourites – the Amanemu Resort in Ise Shima National Park in Japan.

Forming part of luxury hotel brand Aman, Amanemu takes cues from traditional Japanese ryokan, comprising a series of pavilion structures, housing 24 suites and four villas – each with a private hot spring bath.

According to Aman group CEO, Olivier Jolivet, the onsen resort offers ‘an enriching, holistic experience that is very much centred on wellness and tradition’. The design draws on Japan’s historical minka homes, featuring low-slung tiled roofs and dark-stained cedar exteriors. Interiors are dotted with woven textiles, timber sliding doors and wooden screens, handcrafted using the Kumiko technique dating back to the 7th century.

 

Related: Amanyangyun Resort in Shanghai, China by Kerry Hill Architects.

 

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Guided by a classical Japanese aesthetic, Amanemu’s Suites and Villas are replete with natural materials and large glass windows, with woven textile and timber sliding shutters that open to embrace the natural surroundings. All the furniture, including sofas and white oak coffee tables, were custom-made for the resort. In the bathroom, deep stone tubs offer a private onsen experience, with the taps drawing water from nearby hot springs.

In a 2006 address when he became RAIA Gold Medallist, Kerry Hill reflected on 35 years of practice and shared some thoughts on his practice as follows:

“Authenticity is not so easily read; it has to do with the genuineness of origins. It is felt as much as it is seen and it evolves through intuition as much as through critical observation. For me, it is the ability of a work of architecture to feel comfortable in its own skin, to look forward and backwards with ease. There is no formula for achieving this state – one can only address the conditions within which it is felt to exist.”

 

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

Amanemu Resort in Shima, Japan by Kerry Hill Architects | Yellowtrace

 

He also further spoke of his firm’s work, which explains just why Amanemu, and all of their projects were so special.

“We reference past building traditions through suggestion and association rather than replication, and through the reinterpretation of indigenous building forms as opposed to mimicry. We prefer to build upon what is there and to contemporise our understanding of what it can be. I think of it as being current, but filtered through a sieve of traditional values. In this way it is familiar to people, but not quite the same. It is new, but connected to the past—hopefully in spirit, at least.”

 

Kerry Hill’s RAIA Gold Medallist address was delivered at School of Architecture and Fine Arts, University of Western Australia, on Wednesday 25 October 2006.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Kerry Hill Architects and Amanemu.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
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Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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