fbpx DAN | Daily Architecture News The one-off vehicle designed by Kengo Kuma for Rolls-Royce - DAN | Daily Architecture News
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

Catch up on more architecture and design highlights. Plus, subscribe to receive the Daily Architecture News e-letter direct to your inbox.

Kengo Kuma Rolls-Royce

Related stories

Login to join the conversation

Subscriber comments are moderated first. Respect others. Criticise ideas, not people. No offensive language View commenting guidelines

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Further Reading
View all in Industrial Design
The Dior x Pierre Yovanovitch collaboration gives everyday objects a glow-up
Contributing to the depth of the collection, unveiled during this year’s Nomad design fair in Switzerland, PYMO chief executive officer, Cédric Morisset, says the Midi collaboration forms the link between two stories, each centred around an historic manor in the south of France. “On the one hand, there is the story of the Château de […]
Industrial Design
Gossamer collaborates with Alex Proba on collection of mesmerising rugs
In addition to provoking conversations around the perception of cannabis and its users, part of the mission statement, too, is that Gossamer continues to talk about the legalisation of weed, particularly on home-soil in North America. As such, it’s not unusual for the brand’s leaders, Verena von Pfetten, David Weiner and Verena Michelitsch, to engage […]
Industrial Design
Kelly Wearstler presents new lighting collection in virtual worlds
The latest release to roll-out from the Los Angeles-based studio revisits Kelly’s partnership with Visual Comfort & Co, whose Tech Lighting arm is responsible for bringing four new ranges to life. Stamped with Kelly’s signature style, the group of bold yet sophisticated lighting fixtures will launch during North America’s spring. Kelly Wearstler unveils new collection […]
Industrial Design
Swirl power: Henry Holland’s love affair with marbled ceramics continues
Stationed in London, Henry has this year introduced a dozen spectacular vases to his eponymous Henry Holland collection. They’re recognisable by the designer’s interpretation of nerikomi, a mesmerising pottery technique that can be traced back to Japan’s Tang dynasty (dating from 618 to 907), and joined by eight equally eye-catching candle holders. All of the […]
Industrial Design
Pattern king: Greg Natale unveils Largo collection of stone basins and tiles
Umbrellaed by the name Largo, the refreshing collection includes eight floor tiles and six basins that can be mixed and matched to achieve a scheme worthy of Greg’s approval. But even on their own, when placed among a variety of room styles, the beauty of the pieces shines through. As proposed by the inspiring campaign […]
Industrial Design
The OVO collection of chairs by Foster + Partners for Benchmark
Designed by fellow Brits, Foster + Partners architects, the three new additions to OVO take the shape of an armchair, a stackable armless version and a lounge seat. “The collection is a celebration of craftsmanship and materiality, a tactile range of furniture that is characterised by the simplicity of form,” says Mike Holland, head of […]
Industrial Design

Back to Top