Acclaimed Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, the man behind the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium is set to design a Japanese funded hotel in Ahungalla.
Wakana JPN (Pvt) Ltd, the investors behind the hotel signed an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka recently.
This investment opportunity comes as a positive sign to the tourism sector which has struggled since the unfortunate events that occurred on April 21. With an investment of US$ 8.4 million, the Wakana group plans to construct and operate a 21-room boutique hotel in Ahungalla, located south of Bentota.
In Q1 2019, the Sri Lanka Development Authority approved 16 hotel constructions, increasing the total number of new hotels to 366 from 350 last year. The total number of hotel rooms increased to 18,947 at the end of the first quarter.
In addition to this new property, the Wakana group also owns and operates Coral Rock by Bansei in Hikkaduwa and Club Villa Bentota. Coral Rock Bansei was previously managed by the Jetwing group for a year from 2015 to 2016.
The Wakana group hopes that the hotel will amalgamate Sri Lanka hospitality with Japanese style creating a unique product that will attract travellers to the island. Renowned for Kuma’s unique style, every aspect of the boutique hotel from its interior to cuisine will highlight the traditions of both countries.
Kuma is perhaps the most notable Japanese architect to be commissioned in Sri Lanka after Shigeru Ban and Tadao Ando who have designed private residences on the southern coast.
Airbnb has partnered with Kengo Kuma to provide an exclusive tour of the 2020 Olympic stadium accompanied by the architect. The two-hour experience will include a visit to his studio based in Tokyo and discussions about the roots of architecture career and the design and construction process behind the stadium.