Plan for the temple’s main building to connect the sky and a town. The site is located in an old town in Minami-ku Nagoya city, where the traces of a shopping street still remained. Keeping the temple’s traditions in mind, we designed the temple aiming to construct a multipurpose space to attract people, and perform as a public space in the town.
The construction was planned with the following considerations: Firstly, two pillars as the building’s frames were likened to temple gates, and divide the building east and west by diagonally connecting 3.6m-high girders on these pillars—turning the road leading to the temple into part of the visual experience. Honzon, a principal object of worship, was arranged facing west on the first floor worship place. On the second floor, a multipurpose hall for the temple’s supporters was established.
In addition, a thin and large single-pitch roof with 5m-gables allowed us to achieve symbolic temple architecture. Lastly, vertically piercing the space are three top lights representing the three jewels: Butsu (Buddha), Ho (Dharma) and So (Sangha), the light shining down upon the top of the honzon provides a bright and friendly atmosphere. Also, people can feel this light even in the hall.
From the temple gate, creating the gradation of brightness and darkness, the road leading to the temple appears, and follows the sky. While at the same time, the inside enhances and creates a rich experience as the light connects the sky and the town in a sequence moving from the top to the bottom.
Looking at the history of temple architecture we can see the development of the craft and the symbolic roofs. In order to ensure the space for people’s communication in a small site in urban area where fire protection is strictly required, it was important to design reinforced concrete structures by layering to compose the functions. Considering these factors, we made the structural attempt by following history, and created a space where a large roof kindly received people.
Location: Aichi Pref., Japan
Area: 261.94 sqm
Architects: Shinichi Mamiya / Mamiaya Shinichi Design Studio
Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano