hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan

architect hiroki muto has designed a wooden structure that extends the rural residence of two married japanese shinto priests. located in a rural area outside the japanese city of nagano, the site is oriented towards the shrine gate, which is registered as a protected cultural property. the clients required a new main entrance that contained a small reception, an office, storage space for ritual utensils, and a library for their vast collection of nearly 3,000 books. the clients also wanted to add a garden to the site that would exist in harmony with the surrounding buildings. finally, as the new structure must connect to the existing residence, it needed to negotiate a more than two-meter change in elevation from the street.

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © sunohara mokuzai co.,ltd (also main image)

 

 

hiroki muto, who leads hiroki muto & associates, understood that it was important that the new building must specifically support the clients’ vocation as priests. externally, the building has a dark, timber façade and is topped with a simple gable roof that matches the other structures in the area. internally, the project — titled ‘library of priests’ — comprises one room that is loosely divided by lightweight sliding doors. a continuous coloration unites the interior, while the densely-designed bookshelves highlight the room’s depth.

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © dataro

 

 

as the space is oriented towards the shrine gate, the whole interior becomes visible to the outside world when the structure’s doors are open. according to the architect, this theatrical gesture represents the culture of shintoism, with the priests openly displaying their rituals and relating themselves to the shrine’s visitors.

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © sunohara mokuzai co.,ltd

 

 

finally, a window on the lower level allows the priests to see their garden when the doors are closed. ‘since the stone garden is also the representation of the world, this distorted status of being connected and disconnected simultaneously with the world or society reveals their existence as priests to themselves, much more than just through the simple alternate connections and disconnections,’ explains the architect.

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © hiroki muto & associates

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © sunohara mokuzai co.,ltd

hiroki-muto-library-of-priests-nagano-japan-designboom-1800c

image © hiroki muto & associates

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © sunohara mokuzai co.,ltd

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © hiroki muto & associates

hiroki muto-designed 'library of priests' extends shrine residence in nagano, japan
image © dataro

 

 

project info:

 

name: library of priests
architect: hiroki muto & associates
location: nagano, japan
period: 2018-2019
use: private housing extension
structural design: kishinoue structural design office
construction: sunohara mokuzai co.,ltd
site area: 1,833.45 sqm
building area: 65.96 sqm
total floor area: 65.96 sqm
structure: wood

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ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN(889)

LIBRARY ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN(205)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS(1576)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE(184)

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