Discussing the Ace Hotel Kyoto’s Design + Inspiration with Roman Alonso of Commune

The 213-room property is an ode to craftsmanship, with a focus on harmony in design and atmosphere

In any other year, we would have joyfully visited Kyoto’s new Ace Hotel close to its opening (which occurred in June), but as such a trip isn’t possible yet in 2020, we opted for a virtual tour. What’s immediately clear is this lovely hotel balances the Ace’s familiar laidback, minimal style and ethos with craftsmanship and materials utilized in traditional Japanese architecture—an appealing, subtle amalgamation …

Sister City’s AI-Generated Lobby Score

Recorded by Julianna Barwick, an ambient wave of music is determined by the mood of the city

Sister City, a new outpost from the people behind the Ace Hotel properties, feels like a secret, futuristic escape. Guests check themselves in at kiosks just inside the lobby doors, which exist beyond a stone patio and a doorman-equipped gate (with an even more private back entrance on Freeman Alley). If visitors wished to duck away from the chaos of the city for a minute, …

Surprising Materials at London Design Festival 2018

From sisal beasts to printed bacteria and salmon skins, all at this year's magnificent event

At this year’s London Design Festival (LDF), designers worked with surprising materials to showcase projects employing everything from high-tech solutions to unexpected but traditional fibers. Plastics were repurposed, as were the skins of fish. As-yet-unseen materials were printed. And so much more came to light. Here are some of our favorite projects and pieces from the festival’s King’s Cross Design Route, the London Design Biennale …