Capsule hotels are commonplace in Tokyo, but the recently renovated ºC (Do-C) Ebisu hopes to stand out from the pack with its contemporary Finnish-inspired design. Conceived by Tokyo-based Schemata Architects, the renovated hotel is one of the newest offerings by capsule hotel chain 9h (nine hours). Though guests won’t have much space in their tiny capsule units, they do have access to a roomy Finnish-inspired sauna.
9h hotels typically redesign and build their capsule hotels from scratch, but decided to take the renovation route with ºC (Do-C) Ebisu. Schemata Architects was asked to preserve the existing capsule units but otherwise gut the interior and overhaul the exterior. The building was also retrofitted with new saunas.
“In Japan, people often stereotypically associate capsule hotels with saunas due to the conventional style of capsule hotels in the past,” wrote the architects. “The existing building was actually not equipped with saunas, but we intentionally recreated the stereotypical image by adding saunas there, while eradicating the conventional impression, to establish a powerful combination of capsules and saunas representing the identity of ºC.”
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The eight-floor capsule hotel’s narrow building facade was repainted in a rusty red hue, matching the color of the anti-corrosive paint applied to the structural steel members. Natural timber is used throughout the interior, while clear fiber-reinforced plastic, chosen for waterproofing purposes, can be seen in the space connecting the shower room and sauna. The project was completed December 2017 and is located a one-minute walk away from Ebisu Station. You can make bookings online; the capsule hotel is open to both men and women. Per the name, each stay at the minimalist hotel is only nine hours: one hour to get ready for bed, seven hours of sleep, and one hour before checkout.
Images by Nacasa & Partners