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A capsule hotel and sauna that gives the optimal °C

Fancy a sauna and a nap? Check out this renovated capsule hotel in Tokyo with sauna amenities and a no-nonsense retro aesthetic.

Text by Neo Disheng
Photography by Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Capsule hotel °C (Do-C) Ebisu (hereafter °C) is a new spin-off brand from the successful ‘ninehours’ (hereafter 9h) capsule hotel chain renowned for its uber-minimalist interpretation of capsule hotels. It also represents several significant departures from 9h: the brand renovates existing capsule hotels with saunas as featured amenities.

Designed by Schemata Architects, the palette of the scheme revolves around the retro beige colour of the capsules. The coordinated material treatment extends from interior to exterior, where a steel escape staircase has been stripped and refinished in a reddish-brown corrosion-resistant paint. The rest of the facade is painted in the same shade, and becomes the building’s signature colour.

Capsule hotel °C

The iconic look of the capsules also provides a connection to the origins of capsule hotels, while saunas have been intentionally added by the architects to evoke the stereotypical relationship between saunas and capsule hotels in Japan, as well as complement the branding of °C.

Capsule hotel °C

Saunas were imported from Finnish culture as a means for public bathhouses to remain relevant as bathtubs became increasingly commonplace in Japanese homes in the boom years after the war. In line with this historical narrative, the architects not only sought to create a more authentic sauna experience but also a more intimate one. Waterproofing FRP panels separating shower cubicles allow one to see and be seen as a silhouette on the other side of a translucent screen.

Schemata Architects collaborated with Hiromura Design Office and Design Studio S on the project.

Schemata Architects

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