Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and UK-based design consultancy Acumen created ANA’s new premium cabins, which will begin flying next month.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) rolled out new first, business, premium economy and economy cabins on board its fleet 12 of Boeing 777-300ERs. The first redesigned aircraft will serve ANA’s Tokyo–Haneda–London route, starting August 2.
The Japanese carrier collaborated with architect Kengo Kuma and UK-based design consultancy Acumen to develop the two new premium cabin products dubbed “THE Suite” and “THE Room.”
“ANA has sought out the input of the most influential voices in the design community.” – Hideki Kunugi, ANA
“Our partnerships with Mr. Kuma and Acumen illustrate that ANA has sought out the input of the most influential voices in the design community for these innovative new cabin designs,” said Hideki Kunugi, executive vice-president of ANA. “In 2010, we were the first in Japan to introduce the full-flat seat with all-aisle access and in order for ANA to continue to lead and set the global standard for comfort and convenience, we knew that it would be necessary to integrate the latest insights from design professionals as we sought to redesign the flight experience and elevate every aspect of travel for our passengers.”
Both cabins include what ANA claims are the world’s largest 4k seatback displays in a commercial aircraft. Passengers can also use the touchscreen in-flight entertainment displays to adjust Panasonic lighting and the angle of recline.
ANA says THE Suite is inspired by luxury Japanese hotels and is the most spacious fully enclosed seating product that the airline offers. Each of the eight seats come with 43-inch IFE displays and sliding doors for extra privacy.
Meanwhile, THE Room, ANA’s new business-class product, is inspired by modern, multifunctional Japanese living spaces. The 64 seats offer flexible doors that can be adjusted to share the space with neighboring passengers. For the business-class seats, Kengo Kuma selected three wood finishes inspired by modern Japanese homes – Rosewood, Light Japanese Ash and Dark Japanese Ash.
“The design process is just as much about what we decided to include as what we decided to omit.” Kengo Kuma
“The design process is just as much about what we decided to include as what we decided to omit,” Kuma said. “My work is about understanding how space is used and creating the most comfortable conditions in any environment. I enjoyed working with ANA and Acumen to combine the best of Eastern and Western design traditions and create a finished product that sets a global standard by embracing Japanese heritage and international outlook.”
The upholstery of the 24 premium economy and 116 economy-class seats has also been redesigned with Japanese patterns. ANA says the traditional prints include a tatami mat pattern which represents a Japanese welcome, and an arrow design taken from the Yagasuri pattern to suggest movement and direction.
In addition to the redesigned cabin classes, ANA has also completely revamped the entrance area of the aircraft to create a hotel-like reception complete with monitors. It has also created a new self-service bar area, featuring a mini fridge stocked with beverages and snacks.
“Combining our expertise in aviation interior design with the renowned visionary approach of Kengo Kuma, together we have created a striking cabin that has elevated the ANA customer experience to its highest level across all classes,” said Ian Dryburgh, founder and CEO of Acumen.