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The one-off vehicle designed by Kengo Kuma for Rolls-Royce

The one-off vehicle designed by Kengo Kuma for Rolls-Royce

Industrial Design
WATCH: Global architecture and design highlights, including Kengo Kuma’s collaboration with Rolls-Royce.

Luxury motor-vehicle manufacturer Rolls-Royce and celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma have united to develop a bespoke model of the Dawn Rolls-Royce. The one-off vehicle will debut as a moving representation of The Kita development in central Tokyo, a new building designed by Kengo for global luxury property developer Westbank.

The special edition Dawn Rolls-Royce was created exclusively for the owner of the multi-level penthouse, called The Kita Tea House, which sits atop the recently completed property in the tranquil yet central Kitasando neighbourhood. The breathtaking penthouse is so-named for its unique rooftop tea house which frames views of the Eternal Forest of the Meiji Shrine and Kengo’s reawakened Japan National Stadium. 

“This is the first time I have consulted on a project of this kind,” says Kengo. “Rolls-Royce has brought the essence of The Kita into the car’s aesthetic, allowing the owner of The Kita Tea House to take in their surrounding city environment. It is a great honour to see the car finally here at home in Tokyo.”

Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce
Architect Kengo Kuma pictured with the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Dawn.

Kengo Kuma x Rolls-Royce / News highlights

  • British motor-vehicle manufacturer Rolls-Royce has collaborated with Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to develop a bespoke model of the Dawn motor vehicle. 
  • Created for the owner of the penthouse at Kengo’s The Kita development, the one-off vehicle bridges the worlds of luxury automotive and architecture. 
  • The one-of-a-kind Dawn is said to reflect The Kita’s clarity of structure, the penthouse’s material palette and its prevailing sense of calm. 
  • The release of the special edition vehicle follows in the footsteps of other motor vehicle companies who have collaborated with architects, including the Special Edition Aston Martin SUV designed by Sir David Adjaye for owners at New York’s 130 William building. 

As is characteristic of Kengo’s architecture, The Kita building challenges the interplay of interior and exterior. The Rolls-Royce team therefore worked in close collaboration with Kengo and developer Westbank to ensure the interior and exterior of the open-top vehicle reflected the building’s materials, colour palette, texture and ambience in order to offer the owner a consistent aesthetic and atmospheric transition from penthouse to motor vehicle. 

“Both car and residence have a strong visual identity and a generosity of proportion that breaks Japanese norms,” says a statement from Rolls-Royce, whose overriding aim for Dawn’s styling was “one of Japanese delicacy with a sense of precision, seen in the clean lines of the building, creating clarity of structure with a prevailing sense of calm.”

Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce
Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce

The exterior of the vehicle is rendered in Silver Haze, a versatile shade that mimics the silver-grey colour of the building’s core structural material. When rays of sunlight bounce off the car’s sleek lines, the colour seemingly comes alive with bronze undertones – a warmth that is said to reflect the bronze detailing of the residence’s interior and the koshi screen louvres on the exterior of the building. The vehicle is finished with a Silver hood, a clean-cut coachline hand-painted in Black and Royal Walnut panelling on the rear deck. 

Inside the special edition vehicle, the sweeping contours of the Selby Grey leather are highlighted by Arctic White and Black accents. In the first application of its kind by Rolls-Royce, the finish of the front fascia is gradated. Running the full width of the interior, the horizontal ombré effect transitions from Piano Selby Grey to classic Piano Black, representing the blend of grey-flecked Bianco Carrara marble, soft-brushed stainless-steel, dark granites and metallic tiles that appears within the penthouse. 

Rolls-Royce has brought the essence of The Kita into the car’s aesthetic, allowing the owner of The Kita Tea House to take in their surrounding city environment.

Kengo Kuma Architect
Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce
Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce

Set into the vehicle’s fascia, The Kita logo in stainless steel honours the union of manufacturer, developer and architect. The same lattice motif that appears in the logo design is embroidered into the front headrests and the waterfall between the rear seats. Finishing touches include a specially designed clock and umbrellas that are colour-matched to the interiors. 

“It was an honour to collaborate with Kengo Kuma to create a serene and timeless motor car for a serene and timeless building,” says Gavin Hartley, head of bespoke design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “As this project demonstrates, through the authentic application of unique designs and materials we can provide rare sensory experiences that reflect and enhance our owners’ multi-faceted lifestyles.”

rolls-roycemotorcars.com; kkaa.co.jp; westbankcorp.com

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Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce

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