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 22 May 2015. <>
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  • Teo

    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.

  • Philip

    Looks vaguely familiar…hmmm, Le Corbusier maybe.

    • dfggt

      same thing came to my mind!!

  • Shamsul Akmal

    Tengok site, konteks sawah padi lah! yeh men RT @firadauskhazis Niccceeeeee

  • firadauskhazis

    what type of timber is that? look white and soft!

    is that hardwood

  • Gramsci

    An interesting copy of a 50 year old Niemeyer chapel in Brazilia.

    Nothing new under the sun.

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  • arnold

    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.

  • Susan Cohan

    Wonder if the architect ever saw 'The Flying Nun'…via @archdaily

  • Alice Joyce

    @susancohan RT Wonder if the architect ever saw 'The Flying Nun'…via @archdaily <How apropos… hehehe >

  • Rowan

    Agree with Philip, very Ronchamp

  • Victoria

    Современный буддийский храм в Японии. Строго и современно

  • Kucherova Olga

    RT @crevedka: Современный буддийский храм в Японии. Строго и современно

  • rafa

    a mix of ronchamp and brasilia´s chapel of niemeyer, but still looks very nice!

  • Jorge

    I wonder hows that roof is made? I mean material etc….