david chipperfield's inagawa cemetery is a solemn composition of geometries in pink
 

david chipperfield's inagawa cemetery is a solemn composition of geometries in pink

david chipperfield’s inagawa cemetery is sited on a steep slope in japan’s hokusetsu mountain range, nearly 25 miles north of osaka. the cemetery, laid across terraced land, is divided by a monumental stair leading up to a shrine at the highest point – an axis that orients the project. the visitor center and chapel are designed as a marked threshold between the outside world and the space within, dedicated to quiet contemplation. these visitor and chapel spaces are gathered round a courtyard aligned with the central stair, serving as a counterpoint to the shrine.

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image by keiko sasaoka

 

 

the program of the david chipperfield-designed project is organized under a single, sloping roof plane which follows the line of site from the entrance up to the shrine. the visitor center opens to the courtyard garden while the secluded chapel can only be reached by a discrete corridor. a simple and quiet room with minimal heating and artificial lighting offers a non-denominational contemplative space, pure in form and relying on ambient sunlight from the gardens on either side. the visitor finds seclusion in this space filled with soft, passing daylight and foliage influenced by japanese meadows and woodlands.

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image by keiko sasaoka

 

 

diagonally opposite to the courtyard is the visitor center. two large rooms dedicate space for family gatherings and ceremonies. a visitors lounge offers an informal area for resting and eating. a memorial room, which can be separated into three smaller rooms by pleated curtains made with washi paper on fabric, offers space for formal meals after rituals. the floors, walls, and roof are poured from the same red earth-toned concrete, giving the overall structure a monolithic appearance.

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image by keiko sasaoka

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image by keiko sasaoka

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

chipperfield inagawa cemetery
image © edmund sumner

 

 

project info:

 

client: boenfukyukai foundation
architect: david chipperfield architects london
director in charge: david chipperfield
project architect: matt ball (design lead), tom herre (detail design, construction)
lighting: viabizzuno srl
landscape architect: marcia iwatate + kamimura landscape architects
signage: hayashi takuma design office
furniture: cassina IXC ltd.
textile: NUNO corporation
structural consultant: jun sato structural engineering
MEP consultant: ES associates
contractor and contact architect: obayashi corporation
associate architect: key operation inc. / architects naoko kawamura
project manager: naoko kawamura

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