GLAMOROUS Co. Ltd. helped renovate Randen Arashiyama Station about 10 years ago using sustainable materials and lighting. It has become a popular destination station and has helped bolster the local economy. After the success of the station renovation, GLAMOROUS was asked to redesign the platform area to engage travelers even more.
Inspired by Kyoto’s unique brand of kimono cloth artistry as well as the idea of a bamboo forest, the GLAMOROUS team devised a way to use the beautiful fabric as a placemaking element. The concept is that of a “forest” of lanterns softly illuminating the platform and walkway leading to it. Instead of using bamboo, the team wrapped a collection of light poles with hand-dyed Yusen kimono cloth, creating a soft and colorful warm light. The Yuzen cloth was covered with an acrylic finish to protect it from weather conditions. The team chose 16 patterns from hundreds. The result is a welcoming and memorable placemaking element for the everyday commuters who walk the pathway.
Yasumichi Morita (principal designer), Takuma Inoue (senior designer), Jun Takeda (assistant designer), Hitoshi Takamura (drafter, local supervisor)
Heian Kensetsu Kogyo (construction), Pagong (Yuzen kimono fabric), Masataka Kurashina (dragon artwork artist), Artstock (dragon artwork fabrication), Daikan (signage)
“An innovative use of color, form, lighting, and pattern with a reference to the local bamboo forests creates an unexpected experience for a transportation hub. A seemingly “low-tech” solution is in fact a very sophisticated execution. The choice of materials, the environmental constraints, and the integration of lighting technologies is a far more complex resolution than meets the eye. This solution is a 24-hour, day and night, compelling user experience.”
“The local inspiration and cultural references are utilized so effectively to address several different objectives, from durability and other practical installation issues, to creating a real meaningful sense of place and energy. This well-integrated solution, while perhaps slightly heavy handed, certainly transforms the otherwise bleak station environment.”
“A beautiful integration of everything: aesthetic loveliness, cultural significance, careful craft. The designers' stated goal was to "bring happiness and fresh images along with beautiful Kyoto sceneries to everyone," and they certainly brought that to me.”