The Kyoto Tourist Information Center is a new tourist information center intended to be the start of sightseeing in Kyoto created by Kyoto Prefecture and Kyoto City.
Foremost, we aimed for the facility to reflect the (starting point of) hospitality of the international tourist spot “Old Capitol, Kyoto.” In particular, we were tasked with enabling the visitors to be able to get any type of information, including information about sightseeing, accommodations, event tickets, etc., in any way they wanted, such as at the information counter, via a touch-panel display, computer, and other channels. We aimed to make it easier to communicate clearly, in an organized fashion despite the tendency for tourist information centers to overflow with many different types of information.
Secondly, as information centers tend to be unfriendly spaces, we designed the space so that visitors from abroad and Japanese too could feel a Kyoto-like atmosphere. To that end, we incorporated the Japanese aesthetic concepts of “natural beauty” and “utsushi” (creating iterations of great art works), which are reminiscent of Kyoto. We removed all excess design and used materials that are beautiful as they are, such as cast iron, handmade Japanese paper, natural wood, etc. We worked “utsushi” into several areas by using traditional Japanese architectural formats with modern materials by placing black granite tiles with tatami-like patterns and aluminum wrinkled similar to paper in addition to check patterns borrowed from the sliding doors in the Shoukintei of Katsura Imperial Villa. In addition, we smuggled Japanese design elements into a modern and functional space… The center’s design is not one of structure but of space and balance.
Further, the pathway running north-south next to the center is adjacent to a deck from which one can look over the station and surrounding areas. We redefined this and the center as the “tourist information zone,” and redesigned part of the shared space in the station building.
“Kyoto Tourist Information Center KyoNavi”
Address：Kyoto Station Building 2F, 901, Higashi Shiokojicho, Karasuma-Dori Shiojikoji Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Open：Mar. 16th, 2010