Mode
Architecture
Role
Architect
Collaborators
employed by Art a.s.u. inc
Year
1993
Location
Tokyo
CHOSENJI

The temple for Buddhists in Tokyo, Ceremony for Buddhism.

The Architectural Codes and the Fire Codes of today do not allow for possibilities of traditional architectural styles or construction methods. The Japanese Government forbid us to build traditional architecture of wood, expect in the extremely vast land outside of the cities., This was resulted from their intention to protect industries of steel and other material which was more important to them than our traditional culture, and to taking grate effort in protecting to rigid and overly detailed Fire Codes. And as in many countries in the world, we went through a long period of time when concrete and steel were considered to be better than wood. As a result they invented a shorted live materials for easy and economical use without considering long durability of beauty and function of architecture.  Now we see buildings which appear 'traditional' only from outside, without any trace of true 'tradition' inside. I suppose that this phenomenon can be observed not on;y in Japan but also in may countries of the world. Many work of the post-modern architecture only treated this phenomenon merely as 'art'.

On the contrary I wanted to sent a massage that 'true architecture can only create from physical materials and it lives and ages with people in Nature' and design a building from this point of view.

The important theme of the project was to design a Buddhist temple (main;y use for funerals) while using modern construction methods and materials. The main structure is steel; the roof and the slabs are reinforced concrete; the whole building is glass box with pilotis which is a typical code of Modern Architect. As you see in the photographs the site is 6.9 meter wide and 30 meter long. This is a major factor in the decision-making process. And I intend to emphasize physical mass, thickness, texture etc. of the materials, not trying to 'erase their physicality. Materials were exposed as much as possible, and I chose finish materials underneath. And for steel and other materials which can not be exposed in air, I set maximum thickness of finish coating so that they will be treated as ' main '  materials.

And I selected a wide range of materials with different characteristics, backgrounds and history such as shaped steel stone, glass aluminum honey-comb section, asphalt, engineering plywood, OSB-particle plywood, wood and so on. I wanted each material to directly meet face to face to each others, while maintaining the wholeness of the building. And for the newly developed ways but tried to explore their new possibilities and results and treat them as physical materials.

I did not naively seek for tolerance, but I expected to gain the 'depth' within a wide range between roughness and precision, and I believe that it leads to the 'latitude' in the physical changes or aging process of architecture.

After going throughout this design process, this building was completed; it looked as if the building kept staring for a long period of time.