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A Concrete Church in Japan

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A solid concrete construction from the outside, Shonan Christ Church hides its most significant feature: a play of lights in the inside, with only one tiny ray of sun coming in when the hymn is sung towards the end of the service.

“Only one thin ray of direct sunlight shines through the chapel when the hymn is sung towards the end of service.”Located in Kanagawa, Japan, the Church was built to serve as the most appropriate space for the prayer. Inspired by the hexameron in the ‘Creation of Genesis’, architect Hosaka Takeshi created a roof consisting of six curved slabs. Apart from being an eye-catching architectural feature, it also provides structural, acoustic, and lighting solutions. The building itself was designed to be a perfect space for prayer and worship. Its walls leave no echo during the mass, while providing very soft acoustics for the singing of hymns.

Needless to say, not only does the raw interior provides the perfect atmosphere of peace and focus, but it also offers a remarkable play of light that comes through the ceiling throughout the day. There’s not much direct light in the morning, though, when the service is held, so as not to distract the congregation. “Only one thin ray of direct sunlight shines through the chapel when the hymn is sung towards the end of service, and around 3 o’clock light comes in like a shower, creating a dynamic environment,” say the architects.

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All images © KOJI FUJII / Nacasa&Pertners Inc.