LocationOita, Oita Prefecture, Japan
Architect in ChargeNoriko, Kaoru Suehiro
Text description provided by the architects. In Japan, the funeral ceremony used to be an event in the entire regional community. But due to shift in lifestyle such as trend of nuclear families and aging of population, the funeral is changing into a small family’s event and become diversified. This ceremony hall is not for busy traditional funerals many people visit, but for relaxed small funerals that are held by only the close relatives. By doing so, the bereaved family can have much final time with the deceased in contrast to conventional funerals.
This funeral hall has a similar structure to a settlement in that it is made up of a cluster of roofs. There are two main guest rooms which the bereaved family stay the night to protect the coffin until the tomorrow funeral. One is the bigger room, which has the living room, dining room and kitchen, and the other is the small Japanese style room. Basically, the funeral ceremony is held at the guest rooms, but we can use the ceremony hall as well. The ceremony hall is also used for occasional Buddhist memorial service. Because the ceremony hall and dining hall are connected through the courtyard, by opening the doors and using them as one space, this space is applicable to large-scale events.
The building is closed completely from the real world by concrete wall and has no openings to the outside. But each room faces onto the private courtyard and has the big glass windows toward it. We can see nothing but sky from the courtyards and spend time without any interruption. The courtyards also serve as daylights and natural ventilation.
The main structure is a box frame type RC construction and the roof structure is a wooden construction. Y shaped beams is put on the top of the concrete walls. These beams are enhanced horizontal stiffness of wooden roof frames and enable big roofs without additional reinforcement. Y shaped beams also function rainwater gutter and facilitate the maintenance of drains. The windows at top of the roofs can be opened or closed by remote control easily and ventilate the room efficiently and give the daylight.
This space offers full of warmth of woods and daylight with home-like feelings. We hope visitors will feel a strong connection to the deceased and make the cherished memory in this hall.