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Zentis Osaka—a new brand from the group behind the Palace Hotel Tokyo—showcases a design-focused bolthole carved from a new build by Toshiken architecture office and Kajima Design, and bolstered by interiors from UK designer Tara Bernerd of Tara Bernerd & Partners.

Carved from scratch, the project has been built to fulfill a blueprint promise that pledges simplicity and warmth. Clean lines, soaring ceilings, and double height windows are focal points of the design. At street level, the architects’ decision to set the building’s façade back from the road has allowed for additional space at the entrance, which is filled with greenery that segues into an abundance of natural materials inside. Key components such as timber and Ceppo stone sit alongside smooth brickwork and structural ironmongery in a reflection of Osaka’s urban landscape and industrial heritage. Blue limestone, fashioned into a sculptural central staircase in the entrance hall, nods to the luxe touches throughout the property.

Fed by the culture, history, climate and atmosphere of the city, Bernerd conceived a series of interiors where a fresh contemporary palette coalesces with a mix of midcentury and Bernerd-designed furniture for an interpretation of this corner of Osaka. Bernerd also looked to the modular design of bento boxes for inspiration. This manifests by way of a playful use of joinery around bathroom areas, and guestroom layouts where smooth compartmentalization introduces flow and functionality. Similarly, the dining area in UPSTAIRZ embraces the Japanese aptitude for space utilization and features a display case—populated with books, locally sourced pottery, objets d’art and sculptures—remastered as a space divider to create a subtle separation between the seating area and open kitchen.

Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels

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