The Chapel

Chapel Complex, Kyoto, Japan

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chapel elevation

Developed elevation

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Bird's Eye View

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View from South

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Interior with fibonacci roof

chapel closeup

Close-up View


Interweaving the Site

The key idea of the design was about identifying the distance of the two new key facilities to the existing university campus, both physically and metaphorically. The distance to and from the new buildings was mediated by short-cut circulation through them and also by a ramp to the Sanctuary in the Chapel building. Existing circulation routes around the site were interweaved with the new facilities by taking advantage of the level difference of the sloping site. (fig.1) These spacial operations assert the existence of both facilities as a part of daily activities, yet the necessary distance to the Sanctuary is achieved. The trees to the north of the Chapel site were deliberately retained to form more suitable backdrop to the chapel.

Contrasting the Spaces
Two buildings with contrasting characters were envisaged. The circular chapel (fig.2) can be described as ‘heavy / solid / enclosed / vibrant yet solemn’, while the addition building to the Centre for Christian Culture is characterised as ‘light / open / transparent and easily-accessible’ space. Both buildings will have airiness as common space quality with the use of large glazing to the facades. The chapel building will have another layer of light-colour brick wall behind the glazed facade. The mass of cylindrical brick wall will suggest the Sanctuary behind to the campus. The Sanctuary will be reached after an ‘ascent’ through the procession ramp behind the colourful facade. The interior will have light-filled, monotone & intimate space under nature-inspired fibonacci number roof (fig.3) contrasting to the cam- South Elevation scale 1:200 pus outside, yet always be adjacent to the campus life.

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