9h nine hours Namba station, Osaka

For client: B-lot Company Limited Floor area: 994.67 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Hotel of the Year

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Sleeping pods floating in the dark: In order to create a connection with the sanitary area, the women’s pods have a copper facade like that used in the women’s sanitary space.

About the Project

This project creates a new standard for capsule hotels. The business model called the capsule hotel first began in Japan specializing only in offering cheap stays, and the comfort of their lodging spaces have long been overlooked. We thus designed a completely new form of capsule hotel that reinvents its conventional image and pursues functionality while simultaneously providing a rich staying experience. Specifically, in our design, the wet areas are made more habitable in order to lessen the stress of downtimes, such as the time spent in between showering and going to sleep or between getting ready and heading out. For this purpose, the lockers, washing area, shower and toilet space, which had all been located in separate spaces heretofore, are connected together into a single sequence, and a lounge function is incorporated into this connected space to create a spacious “sanitary lounge.”

At the same time, we reconfigured the 4 stages of the capsule hotel stay into 4 scenes comprised of the “reception,” “prologue corridor,” “sanitary lounge” and “sleeping pod” spaces. By selecting the most suitable colors, materials and lighting for each of these functions, we were able to realize a functional hotel that is also rich in the joys of the hotel stay – from the “welcoming” to the “excitement,” “relaxation” and “ultimate sleep experience.”

What’s unique about it

1) 9h nine hours Namba Station is located in one of the most bustling districts of Osaka. While conventional capsule hotels tend to be extensions of the restlessness of the city itself, we created a 30m-long “prologue corridor,” a black tunnel lit with our original, innovative light fixture that invites guests into a relaxing hotel space, physically and mentally separating them from the bustle of the city.

2) While rich lodging spaces may bring to mind decorative furnishings and art, we realized this premium hotel space without the use of any ornamental elements, using instead materials like copper, silver and wood together with color choices like pink beige and subdued blues and varying shades of lighting. As a result, the capsule hotel was reborn into a lodging facility that is accessible to anybody, including women and overseas visitors, extending its conventional image of a predominantly male businessmen clientele.

3) The locker room, shower, toilet and washing spaces are all areas that are frequently used during a hotel stay. Separating them off into different rooms based on function reduces their usability. Meanwhile, gathering them all into the same room creates a haphazard impression like being in the locker room at a gym. We decided to connect all of these wet functions spatially, while gently segregating them into separate areas through steps and alcove spaces, iconic of the 9h capsules, thereby realizing function, comfort and entertainment.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Sleeping pods lined up on the background of Osaka’s cityscape: The men’s pods are finished in silver.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

The showering space is elegantly finished in gentle, pink beige tiles.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Male sanitary lounge: Lighting is bright where necessary, but is otherwise dimmed to create a space of relaxation.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Connecting the wet areas and the locker rooms allows for hassle-free showering and preparation.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

The prologue corridor connecting the entrance and sanitary lounge: This tunnel space consists of a black, vaulted ceiling and 30m-long original lighting that leads guests from the bustle of the city to a space of rest and relaxation.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Reception counter where visitors check in: Our original linear light fixture stretches out along the wall, suggestive of the movement of hotel guests.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Sign at the entrance, welcoming visitors: This sign draws you in to the minimal palate of 9h nine hours.

© Nacása & Partners Inc.

Sanitary lounge for women: The iconic 9h capsule-shaped alcoves provide a comfortable space for relaxing before sleeping or going out.


Conventional spaces of the capsule hotel have been reconfigured, improving their comfort.

Location of project:

nine hours Inc.

Design Studio S

Hiromura Design Office

ModuleX Inc.

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