love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

love architecture has designed a new cemetery in the corner of the precincts of fumonji temple, which was founded 1398 years ago in the western suburbs of tokyo, japan. the project includes the construction of a small, geometric hall for tree burials made of concrete and wood, located on the northern edge of the site. its design employs the simple geometric shape of the triangle, which can be found in various scales throughout the small construction. three walls of folded concrete rise to meet at the top, while the interior is clad in wooden slats, which are arranged in a vertical pattern.love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japanall images courtesy of love architecture

 

 

love architecture has designed a new approach that links the north and south corners of the temple’s site, which were completely divided in two parts before. a newly-built ossuary occupies the southern edge of the site, while the small hall for tree burials marks the northern edge. built next to the kannon-dō, which was once used as the main hall and designated as an important cultural asset by the city, the new ossuary’s design is in harmony with the adjacent existing building. its exterior is clad in a scraped-off plaster façade, while its roof is topped with old tiles. additionally, the exterior walls are decorated with a traditional wooden architectural design, called ‘mokoshi,’ which can make a three-story building appear like a ‘five-story pagoda.’love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

 

 

the temple ossuary, a place where the remains are placed for a while until the tree burial, features cypress log in the center of the room, with pillars on all sides that envelop the worshippers. the floor here is lowered about 85 cm below the ground level, while a staircase leads visitors inside. a continuous window in the middle of the walls wraps the entire space, allowing soft light to enter the chapel. in front of the window, a counter was set up for flower offerings, etc., and a lattice of urn shelves with doors was placed above it.new ossuary in love architecture's cemetery in japan

 

 

the remains of the deceased are then taken to the northernmost part of the precincts, where the tombs are located, and offered as a tree burial. ‘unlike the more famous temples in kyoto and nara, most temples in japan are financially based on the danka system, with the size, color, and shape of the headstones varying for each danka,’ explains yukio asari of love architecture. ‘the cemetery area lined with them can be said to be disorderly in design. the grave area occupies most of the temple’s precincts and has a significant influence on the appearance of the temple and the landscape as a whole.’façade of the new ossuary

 

 

the japanese architect has decided to build an extremely ordered hall in terms of shape and geometries, so that the disordered group of tombs would feel less disorienting. the hall’s form is based on the geometric shape of the triangle, which is derived from the shape of its site. its exterior comprises three concrete walls, which meet at a central point. inside, the hall features a wooden lattice, arranged vertically so that the lines radiate down towards the ground.love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

 

 

‘neither the cemetery nor the grave, to put it another way, has any more function than a warehouse for the remains,’ says yukio asari. ‘when people visit a cemetery, they feel something more than that, perhaps due to religious forces such as ancestor worship. what I did as an architect was to use materials, geometry, and light to appeal to the worshippers’ sensory organs and to establish a sanctuary divided from the mundane. I have long wanted to create a design continuity in the landscape of japanese temples, divided into cemeteries and monasteries due to the danka above system. this work at the cemetery of fumonji hinojyuku michino no michi is one of the attempts.’

love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japanlove architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan
love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan

love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan love architecture adds concrete + wood hall for tree burials to new cemetery in japan     

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: michinoboen in fumonji

architect: love architecture / yukio asari 

location: 7-5-9, honmachi, hino-shi, tokyo, japan

main use: ossuary, small hall

site area: 2772.28 m²

structural design: denkoubou

construction: kanamekensetsu

landscaping: n-tree

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