Nagasaki. A religious building with a wooden forest inside

Japanese studio Yu Momoeda Architecture Office designed a striking wooden structure that follows fractal geometry.

Yu Momoeda Architecture Office, Agri Chapel, Nagasaki, Japan, 2017

In Nagasaki, Yu Momoeda Architecture Office has built a chapel with a structure that follows fractal geometry. In connection with the surrounding park, the wooden system looks like an artificial forest. Architects say: “We tried to design the building as a new gothic style chapel, by using Japanese wooden system”. The chapel, in fact, pays homage to the oldest Gothic church in Japan, known as “Ohura-Tenshudou”.

The external volume is a pure white cube, with a large window on each side. The tree-like units overlap in three levels: Starting by four 120mm square pillars units, the second layer is composed by eight 90mm square pillars units, and the last layer by sixteen 60mm square pillars units. A system of white metal tie-rods serves to further stabilise the building and to thicken the “crown” of the wooden structure.

Agri Chapel
Nagasaki, Giappone
Yu Momoeda Architecture Office – Yu Momoeda, Yuko Abe, Takayo Fuchigami
Structural engineering:
Mika Araki – Jun Sato Structural Engineers
Ittetsu Koga, Masaru Murayama – Koga Sekkeishitsu
Masaaki Sato, Ryohei Koyama, Tatsuya Fujii – ModuleX
Yuji Ide, Masanobu Ide, Yoshihiro Iwanaga – Yushin Construction
Takaya Ishikawa – Aura Create
125 sqm

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