Designed by: Tripster / TRUNK Atelier
For client: TRUNK Co.,Ltd. Floor area: 153.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Hotel of the Year

Public Score
4.10 Function
3.91 Innovation
4.12 Creativity
© Tomooki Kengaku

Genkan-style entrance

About the Project

The one-bedroom property is rented in its entirety: able to accommodate a party of up to four overnight and privately host up to 30 for parties. Composed of a living room, dining room and kitchen, tearoom, bathing area, private garden, and perhaps the smallest disco in Japan, TRUNK(HOUSE) – which also features personal chefs and private butler service – offers an entirely bespoke hospitality experience.

The hotel is designed by TRUNK’s in-house design team, TRUNK Atelier, alongside Tokyo-based design studio, Tripster. Both the interior and exterior design elements of the hotel weave a design language evoking a tasteful, pared-back modern atmosphere whilst echoing traditional Japanese aesthetics.

The renovation of the building repurposed it to luxurious contemporary standards. The space now includes an expansive dining area featuring an open kitchen decorated with brass pendant lights by New Light Pottery, marble top counters and a long, solid oak dining table; a bathing area inspired by Japanese bathhouses; and Tokyo’s tiniest disco.

Further design details found in the building paint an expression of contemporary style incorporating traditional design, with guests entering through a stone genkan-style entry restored to its original form. Grey mortar walls; dark terrazzo floors; paper screens; wood panelled ceilings and a decorative window with stained glass are new additions which acknowledge the traditional architecture of the building.

What’s unique about it

TRUNK(HOUSE) is situated within a 70-year-old building in Kagurazaka, a neighbourhood known as ‘Little Kyoto’ due to its abundance of shrines, temples, and a spectacular array of outdoor spaces. The building—which formerly served as a geisha house—came into TRUNK’s ownership in 2018, after which extensive restoration and conversion work began. The building’s interiors underwent a thorough renovation to craft a masterful townhouse environment that offers an immersive hospitality experience.
The conversion and renovation of this space marks TRUNK’s effort to preserve a piece of Tokyo that is home to a thriving arts, culture and literature scene; something that is unique to the neighbourhood and city.
TRUNK’s conversion of the building saw them fit the interiors with an array of design pieces and artwork: some specifically acquired, and others, commissioned. TRUNK’s process of curation saw them select a wide range of artists which span the likes of the internationally-renowned, to local talent. The artists all share a connection to Tokyo: an influence that has been imbued in their works. This forms part of TRUNK’s commitment to sustain the cultural spirit of Tokyo – as a city that is international but traditional, and constantly shifting.
Through a considered conversion process, TRUNK transformed a former geisha house into a unique hospitality experience. The hotel now serves as a multi-purpose space capable of facilitating overnight stays, gatherings, and cultural exchange.

© Tomooki Kengaku

Chano-yu (Japanese tea ceremony) themed artwork by American artist Tom Sachs

© Tomooki Kengaku

Vestibule Approach

© Tomooki Kengaku

Living Room

© Tomooki Kengaku

Bed Room

© Tomooki Kengaku

Tea Room

© Tomooki Kengaku

Bathing Area

© Tomooki Kengaku


© Tomooki Kengaku

Dining Room

© Tomooki Kengaku

Exterior of TRUNK(HOUSE)

Location of project:
TRUNK Co.,Ltd.

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