April 28, 2021

Rolls-Royce and Kengo Kuma have bridged the luxury automotive and architectural worlds with the unveiling of a first-of-its-kind Bespoke Rolls-Royce Dawn. The singular motor car will debut as a moving representation of the new luxury residence ‘The Kita’ in central Tokyo, designed by Kengo Kuma upon commission by global luxury property developer Westbank.

The Bespoke Dawn was created for the exclusive use of the owner of the unique multi-level penthouse, ‘The Kita Tea House’, which sits atop the newly completed property in the tranquil yet central Kitasando neighbourhood. The penthouse is so named for its rooftop tea house which is framed by views of the Eternal Forest of the Meiji Shrine and Kengo Kuma’s reborn Japan National Stadium.

As is characteristic of Kengo Kuma’s architecture, ‘The Kita’ challenges the relationship between interior and exterior. The open-top Dawn was therefore a natural canvas for the accompanying motor car, a peaceful and cocooning private space where you are conversely never disconnected from the outside world.

The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective worked in consultation with Mr Kuma and Westbank to ensure that the interior and exterior design reflected ‘The Kita’ in terms of materials, colour palette, texture and ambience to offer the resident a seamless aesthetic and atmospheric transition from property to conveyance. The 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 a clarity of structure with a prevailing sense of calm, the design’s depth revealing itself softly and subtly. At the same time, both car and residence have a strong visual identity and a generosity of proportion that breaks Japanese norms: deceptively neutral yet deeply atmospheric; inherently practical, yet extremely comfortable.

Dawn’s exterior is rendered in Silver Haze, a multi-faceted colour that speaks of the silver-grey of the building’s core structural materials. When illuminated by the sun, it reveals a bronze sheen, a warmth that reflects the bronze koshi screen louvers on the exterior of the building and the bronze detailing of the interior. It is finished with a sleek Silver hood and clean-cut Black coachline. Bringing the interior and exterior together is the warm, intimate feel of natural open-pore Royal Walnut panelling on the rear deck, a nod to the rich Walnut panelling of the towering penthouse entrance lobby.

Inside, the sweeping contours of the Selby Grey leather interior are highlighted by Arctic White and Black accents, with seatbelts in Slate Grey. In the first application of its kind for Rolls-Royce, the finish of the front fascia is gradated. Running the full width of the interior, the horizontal ombré transitions from Piano Selby Grey to Piano Black, a representation of the blended and fluid nature of the building’s luscious and innovative materials. The colour transitions from the residence’s luminescent grey-flecked Bianco Carrara marble, through to the light greys of soft brushed stainless steel and ceramic tile, and finally, to the dark granite and metallic tile.

Into the fascia is set a stainless steel inlay of ‘The Kita’s’ logo, the most delicate example of such an inlay that the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective has produced and a gesture of solidarity with the great skill that went into crafting the residence’s unique hand-finished stainless steel fittings. The same lattice motif is applied in embroidery to the front headrests and the waterfall between the rear seats. Final touches include a specially designed Bespoke clock and Bespoke umbrellas colour matched to the interior, reflecting the discerning tastes of the architect.

“This is the first time I have consulted on a project of this kind and I am proud that I was able to do so for Rolls-Royce, a company with which I share a respect for traditional craftsmanship and a desire to bring out the best in natural materials.” shared Kengo Kuma. “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.”