Doshisha University Chapel

Kyotanabe, Kinki Region, Japan, 2012

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 proselytising” 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.

 

Kyotanabe, Kinki Region, Japan, 2012

Type

Cultural, Education

Status

Competition

Team

Florian Busch, Sachiko Miyazaki, Tomoyuki Sudo, Momoyo Yamawaki, Akira Miyamoto, Suguru Takahashi, Berta Morata (Intern)

Structural Engineering: OAK (Masato Araya, Takashi Sudo)

Size

790 m²

Structure

Steel-Concrete-Steel Sandwich Construction

Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel
Doshisha University Chapel

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