FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
In 1992 the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications commissioned VSBA to design the hotel complex adjacent to Nikko National Park, site of ancient Buddhist and Shinto shrines. The Mielparque Nikko Kirifuri Resort includes a 97-room hotel, conference center, tennis courts, and a spa and swimming facility.
Throughout the complex, building proportions and facades suggest traditional rural architecture: the ornamental roof structures symbolizing vernacular roof forms and overhangs; the wall appliqué pattern suggesting exposed frame construction. The main hotel, a series of linked buildings, recedes into the mountainous wooded setting. The elements together promote the resort as a modern, streamlined version of the ancient Japanese village.
A bridge spans the ravine at the approach to the hotel. Its form juxtaposes a reinforced concrete structure, derived from contemporary engineering technology, with a decorative plane on each face that symbolizes a traditional Japanese bridge.
In contrast, the resorts interiors appear innovative and contemporary. The grand volume of the spa facility is ornamented with giant green and yellow aluminum tree leaves grouped to reflect the spas verdant setting. The dominant indoor element of the hotel is a pedestrian Village Street ornamented with colorful and abstracted signs and murals depicting historical and contemporary elements. Restaurants, cafes and retail areas line this street, making it a lively and gala place for both adults and children. To the east rise six stories of hotel facilities, and to the west conference rooms, lobbies, underground parking and tennis courts.