BENESSE PARK HOTEL
Experiencing Benesse House Park was like perusing a beautiful jewellery box, where each compartment stored its own precious object. Walking through the hotel was a treat, every detail is so well considered, every perspective filled with architectural triumph. The building is adorned with the breathtaking photography of Hiroshi Sugimoto, each image so different in its subject yet as striking as one another.
Built on a slope of ground that leads off the Island into the sea, the view from the hotel room balcony was as picturesque by day as it was by night. In the distance one can gaze upon the water and brightly coloured sculptures scattered like sleeping native giants. Once the sun had set, The Corridor of Time illuminates provoking one to begin a blast of existential contemplation whilst the fresh sea air encouraged a deep calming breath.
In true Ando style this construction contributed to the dynamism of the landscape, at a grand scale it remained quaint, function and form were precisely balanced. Segments of concrete, water fountains and green-scape circulate around the footprint as though if you find one you are bound to find the other, possible the only predictable aspect of the building.
Beneath the hotel rooms exists a cocktail lounge, filled with wall art, sculptures and handcrafted tables made from ancient trees. From here, deciding to use the restroom meant a short walk that could take one an endless amount of time. This is because you are directed through a series of stunning galleries making it easy to lose track of time and become lost in thought. What is more, when I now reflect upon my experience in this edifice, I find myself again lost in my thoughts, for what was an ephemeral moment in time has become everlasting in me.