Hiroshima – We’ve seen designers transform everything from industrial cranes to prison buildings into hotels. Adding another unusual former function to that list is Kiro Hiroshima, a hospital turned hotel in the centre of the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
In order to pay respect to the building’s past, Hiroyuki Tanaka Architects took a historical approach to its restoration. ‘You could say that the architecture has been reborn as a future building that incorporates elements of its past,’ says a spokesperson for the studio. On the third floor, for instance, what was once a rehabilitation pool is now a lounge and bar. But the pool still remains, its original skeleton left intact and its surfaces made fit for its role in a modern hotel. ‘Since the poolside was originally of great importance to the room, we kept traces of its history in place while developing the surroundings. Making use of the existing tiles and large entrance, we tried as hard as possible to maintain the room’s original atmosphere.’