Hong Kong investors targeted for iconic development in Niseko
January 11, 2011 - Hokkaido
A unique ‘condominium hotel' development at one of Japan's most celebrated ski resorts Niseko, will be unveiled in Hong Kong on January 18th /19th 2011 at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Hong Kong-based Summit Properties is showcasing the first phase of ‘The Rocks', a ‘first of its kind' concept at Niseko Hirafu, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.
The skiing and snowboarding mecca is famous for some of the world's most pristine and dramatic champagne powder snow.
Niseko's lengthy ski season extends from late November to early April on the slopes of 1,308-metre Mount Niseko Annupuri.
Townhouses and penthouses in ‘The Rocks - Edge' - the initial phase of the development - are scheduled for completion in the centre of the quaint alpine village of Hirafu by the end of 2011.
Ultimately, The Rocks Niseko Resort concept envisages a substantial second ‘ski-in, ski-out' development in the Upper Village, offering doorstep access to the celebrated ski-fields.
Cutting-edge design is creating a unique 4-season lifestyle resort where natural ecosystems, gardens, recreational spaces and architectural structures are all inextricably united in an alpine National Park setting.
For master planning, architecture and interior design, Riccardo Tossani Architecture brings experience ranging from designing for fashion brands such as Giorgio Armani to environmentally and culturally sophisticated custom residences and boutique resorts in Japan, Europe, Thailand and the South Pacific.
Providing engineering design, planning and project management services are global engineering giants Arup, renowned for iconic projects including Sydney Opera House and the Beijing Olympic Stadium.
Also part of the design team are Japan's most innovative landscape architects ‘studio on site', known for avant garde planning and design of luxury resorts, parks and public plazas around Japan including Shinagawa Central Garden.
"The Rocks is inspired by the dramatic mountain beauty of Niseko, natural charm of the Hokkaido seasons and the sublime and elegant culture of Japan," said Summit Properties spokesman Lucas Fuller.
"It is designed for sustainability and longevity, protecting a precious and magical environment that will hold its allure for generations to come."
Stunning architectural design features a "playful arrangement of masses and forms, overlapping strata and layers with shifting planes and bold projections that recall the geological drama so characteristic of this volcanic landscape".
Abundant use of natural materials including stone and wood is coupled with soft and indirect lighting to "evoke an organic alpine feeling with moods that change with the light and the seasons".
Tall, floor to ceiling windows allow panoramic views of Mount Niseko Annupuri, the volcano Mount Yotei and adjacent ski fields. Large rooms with open fireplaces, broad terraces and expansive glazing "celebrate light and space". Furnishing, appliances, fixtures and fittings are top-of-the-range.
Significant investment has also been made in natural energy generation and thermal performance initiatives - to substantially reduce costs for owners as well as minimise impact on the local power grid and ecology.
These initiatives include large solar panel ‘farms' on the roofs of all buildings, generating electricity sold back to the local grid at a premium to offset energy costs.
Natural volcanic hot springs pumping into onsen baths and private rotenburos also contribute to geothermal power generation used for heating rooms, pathways and plazas and driveways.
With extensive glass roofs and panoramic windows, the residences additionally exploit the ‘greenhouse effect' for natural heat input in winter, with mass heat storage located strategically throughout apartments.
Coupled with extensive usage of state-of-the-art LED lighting, low energy / high-efficiency equipment and centralised partitionable boilers and air-conditioning systems, Mr. Fuller notes: "Maximum comfort has been achieved with minimum possible running costs to owners, the lowest carbon footprint and minimal impact on the natural environment."
The ‘first phase' The Rocks - Edge is in the heart of Hirafu, amid fashionable restaurants, bars and cafés including an exotic ice bar; designer pubs with renowned DJs and an elegant Asian fusion restaurant.
It comprises three-bedroom townhouses of 168 sqm and four-bedroom penthouses of 259 sqm and 286 sqm. Each apartment includes substantial additional exclusive areas such as balconies and gardens, and including roof terrace the top level penthouse is over 440 sqm.
Subsequent phases will incorporate a Kid's Club, traditional Japanese onsen hot spring, modern spa, gym, restaurants, bar, deli, café and ski concierge. The Rocks - Edge apartments' owners will benefit from the vibrancy of the Middle Village combined with full access to the on-the-snow facilities at the Upper Village development including onsen, ski concierge and storage, boot lockers and owner storage cupboards and parking.
Mr. Fuller added: "The Rocks will be an iconic development and the first of its kind, setting standards of service and breadth of facilities not seen in the village before.
"The combination of its unique National Park location providing stunning views with an ease of skier access not achieved by any other Niseko condominium development to date is unmatched."
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