Sou Fujimoto plants temporary hall in Fukuoka


Sou Fujimoto Architects has designed a temporary hall for Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka, Japan. The pavilion will stand in front of the main shrine, which will be reconstructed for the next three years. For the first time in 124 years, the main shrine, which is designated as an important cultural property, will undergo a major renovation, and the ‘temporary hall’ will replace it to welcome visitors.


The new design is defined by a green roof that creates a perfect symbiosis between built space and natural surroundings. A ‘forest’ appears on its bent roof, dissolving the boundary between the hall’s interior and exterior, and bears the design signature of the renowned Japanese architect. Construction will begin in February 2023, and the pavilion is set to be open until the main renovation is complete.

sou fujimoto crowns temporary shrine in japan with planed bent roof all images ©Sou Fujimoto



Sou Fujimoto’s hall temporarily replaces the main shrine


Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is the head shrine of Tenmangu shrines in Japan that permanently enshrines the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, who is widely revered as the god of learning, culture, art, and sincerity. The shrine is worshiped not only all over Japan but also around the world, and nearly 10 million worshipers visit it annually.


At Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, every 25 years, a ceremony is held to commemorate the number 25, which is closely related to Sugawara no Michizane (Tenjin). ‘In the 9th year of Reiwa (2027), we will celebrate the 1125th anniversary of Sugawara no Michizane’s death,’ shares the team at Dazaifu Tenmangu.


Unlike the main shrine, visitors can enter the temporary pavilion — conceived by Sou Fujimoto Architects (see more here) — without taking off their shoes. Furthermore, a slope is provided and designed with consideration for elderly people and children. The size of the funeral hall follows the same dimensions as the current main hall, providing worshipers with a spacious layout.

sou fujimoto crowns temporary shrine in japan with planed bent roof



The current main shrine was rebuilt approximately 430 years ago by Takakage Kobayakawa, the feudal lord of Chikuzen. This is the first time the main shrine will be rebuilt and repaired for such a long period of time. ‘In order to pass on the traditions that have been protected and handed down to the future and revive the beautiful appearance, we will repair the damaged parts using traditional techniques, but we will also hold an expert meeting centered on architectural history and history experts. We will conduct surveys and research in parallel with the start-up and repairs and re-evaluate the historical value and cultural significance of the main shrine.’

sou fujimoto crowns temporary shrine in japan with planed bent roof

scheduled completion of the main hall renovation is expected around 2026


‘We will build a ‘cave’ in front of Kumamoto Station to welcome everyone to visit. Since it has only been exhibited for three years, we wanted it to be a place that will be pleasing to the Tenjin Sama and all the visitors. It has been designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape, carrying on the tradition and connecting to the future.’

sou fujimoto crowns temporary shrine in japan with planted bent roof

the main hall was reroofed with cypress bark and painted with lacquer in 1990



project info:


name: temporary hall for Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

architects: Sou Fujimoto Architects | @sou_fujimoto

location: Fukuoka, Japan