Chushin-ji / Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates

© Takumi Ota

Architecture: Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates
Location: Kamiina-District, Nagano,
Principal in Charge: Katsuhiro Miyamoto
Project Team: Isamu Tamaishi, Takenori Uotani
Structural Engineering: Hirokazu Toki / University of Shiga Prefecture & Takashi Manda/ Takashi Manda structural design
General Contractor: Shibusaki Kensetsu
Site Area: 862.63 sqm
Built Area: 243.42 sqm
Total Floor Area: 226,18 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Takumi Ota

Chushin-ji is a Buddhist temple nestled in the Japan Alps. It boasts a long history of over 550 years. The head priest desired to make use of these Priest’s Quarters for such events as exhibitions, lectures and concerts where locals can gather. The residential area and the common space are arranged under a large roof, like a large umbrella, that takes the rhythm of the roofs of the adjacent main hall and reception hall into consideration.

first floor plan
© Takumi Ota

The roof is made of thick concrete so that it would last for 100 or 200 years. It comprises a nested structure as the wooden residential area and other areas are housed underneath. The roof is strong enough to bear heavy snow loads, there is a lot of leeway for the interior design. Renovations are also feasible in the future.

© Takumi Ota

Moreover the existence of the common space is recognizable due to the roof, and it fulfills the role of linking the temple with local residents.

Cite: "Chushin-ji / Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates" 08 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <>


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    Do I like the drawings?
    Yes Sir, they are conceptually beautiful.

    Do I like the outcome?
    Yes, but there are some things which I don’t fully enjoy, and I think it has something to do with the material they used. Wood lasts longer than concrete, then why use concrete? I think the slab turned out to be quite thick and the general brown beauty of a pagoda is more elegant than the stained gray concrete pillars, the thick slate or the young blond wood. Maybe time will make the best of it. Or maybe I am mistaken.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it’s very interesting and very difficult work, to create “old-new” architecture. or other words, to create a MODERN classic (old) building.

    the beginning of arch. thinking is really good. the roof idea as white sail or hill is interesting. and the form, color of the roof is so artistic.

    but thats all, what impressed for me; I missed organic, whole of all arch.Body. it looks like, that the roof goes on his own way, and the volume under him – goes on his own way. there is no whole. it’s the main problem of this house.

    to my mind, there wasn’t looked for more purify of the main Idea.
    and I think, this new house discord a bit with old house.

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