This Solemn Forest Chapel in Japan Imitates Two Hands Clasped in Prayer


Located in a forest just beyond a nondenominational cemetery sits the Sayama Forest Chapel, a three-year-old building designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP (previously). From a bird’s eye view the chapel appears to form both a star and two hands pressed together in prayer, which is a traditional Japanese structural form called “Gassho-zukuri.”

“For those who are in deep grief and inconsolable, how can architecture nurture them? With this in mind, I designed buildings that gently surround them and support their intentions,” explained Nakamura to Yellowtrace.

The building was also built in a way to promote growth around its exterior, with walls tilted inward to leave room for the forest to grow around its shape. The chapel’s floor and patterns of its slate also lean toward the forest, subtly asking visitors to concentrate their mind on the surrounding elements of nature.

The chapel was named as a winner in the religious buildings and memorials category in this year’s Architizer A+Awards, an awards program that celebrates the year’s best in architecture and products. (via Yellowtrace)








See related posts on Colossal about , , .