A wondrous, sun-dappled chapel
●Concept of total excellence
This is a new chapel that opened in a hotel located in the global tourism city of Hiroshima. Focusing on the fact that this chapel’s birth in the lobby area would make it the face of the hotel and convey its brand message, the design concept was to create a distinctive, unrivalled space. Since this chapel faces the hotel’s courtyard, wooden lattice panels were used to create a wondrous, sun-dappled chapel that is integrated with the garden.
Hiroshima is one of the most popular destinations for overseas tourists to Japan. For this reason, in planning the chapel, we were highly conscious of that fact that we were not simply designing a commercial facility but a space that would let the rest of the world know about Japan’s spirituality, traditional arts and crafts, and its refined workmanship.
●A challenging design
A large tree is the motif of the wooden panel design, called the Power of Flower, which carries the theme of ancestral roots and the prosperity of future generations. Through collaboration with a kimono designer, we were able to associate the various flowers and plants in the design with these concepts by using traditional patterns found in Japanese kimonos. Each wooden panel unit of the chapel measures 2m×1m, and 100 units were used. The 15mm-thick Japanese cypress panels were intricately carved by hand to show the cutwork pattern. Such huge dimension has made this a wooden dome chapel of an unprecedented scale even within Japan. Lighting filtering through the dome’s wooden cutwork casts shadows on the aisle of the chapel like sunlight through the trees, creating an illusion that the couple are being blessed in a sun-dappled forest.
Originally established as the interior design department of NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD, Nikken Space Design (NSD) has more than 60 years of experience in the field. As a part of the Nikken group since 1994, NSD now works not only with Nikken Sekkei but is also in partnership with various architects and artists. With 60 highly experienced designers, NSD is currently working on numerous design projects for Japanese and international clients.