Florian Busch Architects フロリアンブッシュ建築設計事務所

Doshisha University Chapel


When it was noticed, decades after the campus of a renown Christian university near Kyoto had been built, that there wasn’t a chapel, two left-over sites adjacent to an existing, inconspicuous Christian Cultural Centre and administrative buildings next to the campus’ central square with a path between them were designated for a new chapel and the extension of the Christian Cultural Centre.


FBA’s proposal suggests an architecture that negotiates between the campus’ secularity and the chapel’s spirituality. Where in other Christian universities the surroundings react to the chapel, here, the chapel has to react: stand out in its surroundings without overwhelming them.


Without imposing a big gesture of “retroactive missionizing” the surrounding nondescriptness, it is with understated persistence that the chapel becomes an other-space within the campus. As if the chapel had evolved from within the secular and yet achieved its specialness by overcoming the very mediocrity it was born in. The roof of the new chapel originates in the campus buildings’ world of pitched roofs, plays with and liberates them by gradually dissolving their monotonous hardness.


The new chapel opens towards the sky in changing intensities of light. Its roof is therefore both heavy and light, its steel walls shield from vistas of the neighbours and at the same time embed the chapel in the existing surroundings. The path that separated the sites of the new buildings is turned into an agora, becomes the space that combines the chapel and its ancillaries into one.



Kyoto, Japan



Project Team:

FBA: Florian Busch, Sachiko Miyazaki, Tomoyuki Sudo, Momoyo Yamawaki, , Akira Miyamoto, Suguru Takahashi, Berta

Morata (intern)

Structural engineering: OAK (Masato Araya, Takashi Sudo)


FBA: フロリアン ブッシュ、宮崎佐知子、須藤朋之、山脇ももよ、宮本哲、髙橋卓、ベルタ・モラタ(研修生)

構造: OAK 新谷眞人、須藤崇

Gross floor area: c. 790 m²
Steel-Concrete-Steel Sandwich Construction
延べ床面積: 約790 m²