Mount Rokko is a range of mountain with its highest peak at 931m. The mountain runs a wide range from the Osaka Bay to Kobe city, allowing a panoramic view of the Hanshin area from the mountain top. This landmark of Kobe have long been beloved by the people living in the region. In the Summer of 2019, the long cherished Rokkosan Hotel has been restored by the renowned Italian architect, Michele De Lucchi and reopened as the Rokkosan Silence Resort.
The restored original building reopened as the entrance of the Rokkosan Silence Resort in in July of 2019.
©️Rokkosan silence resort
It was the foreign merchants during the Bakumatsu period and Meiji Era that developed the mountain resorts and contributed to preserve the landscapes of Mount Rokko. In the beginning year of Meiji Era, Arthur H. Groom, an English merchant who valued beauty and enjoyed hunting, moved into Kobe as an agent from the Glover and Co. in Nagasaki. While visiting Mount Rokko, Groom realized that the place was suitable for building a mountain lodge. He build the first summerhouse in Mount Rokko next to Mikuni Lake, which he named as “Groom Pond” in 1895.
The Reception Area on the 2nd floor of the original building. The architecture by the renown Japanese Modernism Architect has been reformed to its former glory by Michele De Lucchi.
©️Rokkosan silence resort
In 1903, Groom founded the Kobe Golf Club in Mount Rokko which was Japan’s first ever golf club. In order to maintain the scenery, trees were planted from his own expenses. This became the base of the summer resorts in Mount Rokko. From Groom’s achievement, Mount. Rokko built its reputation as a summer resort and draw the attention of Ichizo Kobayashi, the founder of the Hankyu Railway. Kobayashi builds the Rokkosan Hotel as a subsidiary to the Takarazuka Hotel. The architect of Rokkosan Hotel was Masaharu Furuzuka, who designed the Takarazuka Hotel. The half timbered English Style cottage was completed in 1929.
The Kobe Port can be viewed from their Grill Restaurant
The beloved hotel had long been the symbol of Rokkosan and was certified as the Heritage of Industrial Modernization in 2007. However the hotel started to lose its former beauty together with the reputation of Mount Rokko as a high-class resort. In order to respond to this situation, the Italian architect, Michele De Lucchi was entrusted to restore the structure and newly plan to revive the former beauty of the hotel and the existence of Mount Rokko. The company that entrusted Michele De Lucchi was Hakko Car Group, which achieved the business permission of the hotel in 2017. After 2 years of restoration, the former hotel started a new history in July 2019, with its new name, Rokkosan Silence Resort.
The hotel is an ideal hideaway for the car owners of McLaren and Aston Martin.
The Hakko Car group was founded in 1959 as a repair shop for domestic automobiles. The company have grown into an official import dealer for 8 European automobile brands such as Maserati, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Aston Martin. The company holds 25 stores throughout the five prefectures of Western Japan including Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto. The company is transforming the area into a new sightseeing area to bring the interest of wealthy tourists back to Mount Rokko. The hotel is also expecting overseas tourists to experience the rich nature and scenery of Mount Rokko that can be accessed by just an hour drive from the city, together with its safe, peaceful and warm hospitality.
The sketch of the Rokkosan Silence Resort by Michele De Lucchi
©️Rokkosan silence resort
The Energy and Existence of the Mount Rokko
This Project has Magnificent Continuance
Michele De Lucchi was entrusted for restoration and creation for the new landmark of Mount Rokko, since the project required not only a true identity but a European taste as well. The project also required aesthetics, restoration experience with the perspective of preserving, and the expertise to make good use of the architecture’s history to fit to the present age and connect to the rhetoric composition. The Italian architect’s passion who worked with courtesy and respect to the tradition is engraved on the restored building.
Michele De Lucchi describes how he was impressed by the nature of Mount Rokko from his first visit.
“The people are the ones who will be living in the building. The most important point is to solve the relationship between nature and the life of people “ explains Michele De Lucchi. Alike the other projects he had worked on, Michele De Lucchi went through an overwhelming amount of thoughtful procedures with the Rokkosan Silence Resort. The surrounding environment, especially the energy of Rokkosan had connected with the energy of the people and objects that lead him to the final designs of this project. The restored building revived by Michele De Lucchi is carefully integrated with the existence of the silent Mount Rokko.
“When I first visited Mount Rokko, I was impressed by its nature. I felt that the place was magnificent and inspiring. A unique energy and existence can be felt here.” Next will be the circular building with guest rooms which will be surrounding the nature. In addition, there will be several more buildings including the churches and restaurants. The project of Rokko Silent Resorts has a magnificent continuance.
Rokkosan Silence Resort
Text by Sergio Calatroni