small wedding Chapel is located high above Kobe, Japan on Mount Rokko,
discretely tucked behind a non-descript adjacent hotel.Ando uses the materials of concrete, glass and light to create a
powerful spiritual place through a rich spatial sequence of light and
darkness, direct and indirect natural light.
chapel is an almost square concrete volume that is flanked by an adjoining
vertical bell tower and a tunnel of translucent glass.To access the chapel one enters from a back exit of the hotel, past
a small pond and into a long tunnel of frosted glass which is flooded with
a milky white light.The end
of the tunnel is open with a view of nature, but no sign of a chapel.
the right at the end of the tunnel is the entry to the chapel.One enters into a dark vestibule with a curved concrete wall that
directs the visitor into the chapel, a hint of light spills from a
vertical slit in the curved concrete wall demarcating the threshold
between corridor and space of worship.This
main concrete volume opens up with its high ceiling and side wall of
natural light that is open to an exterior space bound by an exterior
concrete wall.There is a boundless
space between interior and exterior.While
one can see into this exterior space, one cannot physically enter into it,
altar space seems to be magically illuminated by light that falls from an
unseen slit in the ceiling above it and by a long and skinny vertical
window to the side of it.The
light-bathed concrete walls change form over time, through the passage of
light, constantly animating and redefining the space.The dialogue between hard, direct light from the exterior
‘room’ and the soft, abstract light creates a space that has the power
to transcend and transform and then bring one back to the physical world.
Silloway 2004, updated 2008
with special thanks to Ko Teramoto
How to visit
JR Osaka Station take JR Tokaido Line (express) to JR Rokkomichi Station
(22 minutes).From the South side
of this station take the free Rokkosan Oriental Hotel bus (about 30
minutes) to the Hotel.For the time
schedule of the bus and a map see www.roh.co.jp/ac.html
(in Japanese only).
reservations to see the chapel (and for the current hotel bus schedule)
telephone +81 78-891-0333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
chapel is part of the Rokkosan Oriental Hotel.
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