Rows of simple wooden pews provide seating, and a small cross to the rear of the pulpit and baptismal pool is aligned with the concrete panelling. “The characteristic six curved slabs are designed not only for architectural reasons but also they provide structural, acoustic, and lighting benefits,” said the architect, whose past projects include an igloo-like noodle restaurant near Mount Fuji. “Direct sunlight was inappropriate for the time of the service. To the right of the entrance lobby, a series of pale wood-lined compartments house meeting and storage rooms, a kitchen and toilets. Gaps in the upside-down barrel-vaulted ceiling of this Japanese church by Takeshi Hosaka funnel slices of light into the concrete-lined hall (+ slideshow). This curving cast-concrete roof features six separate concave slabs, intended to symbolise the first to sixth day in the Bible’s story of creation. A terracotta cross fixed to the adjacent facade is made from sand collected by the minister from the site of the old church. Photography is by Koji Fujii / Nacasa Partners. “I wanted to interweave the 50 years’ history of Shonan Christianity association and the congregation’s desires in it,” said Hosaka. A large concrete pier extends out of the facade above the wooden doorway to the church, forming a porch where the congregation can gather. This construction was designed to create a space of skylight during the time zone for the service – 10:30 until 12:00 on Sunday morning – and direct sunlight during other time zones,” said Hosaka. Strips of dark grey urethane foam inserted in the gaps help to avoid “undesirable echoes.”
“In the sanctuary, the pastor’s speeches can be heard clearly and easily throughout the space, while the hymns can be heard softly,” said senior consultant at Nagata Acoustics, Ayako Hakozaki. The shape of the roof was also designed to dampen and reflect the sound of hymns, and to ensure sermons can be heard clearly by the congregation. Described by the architect as “void tubes”, they appear solid from inside the building. Lawrence by Avanto ArchitectsThe “restrained” single-storey height of the church, with a sculptural reinforced concrete roof, is intended to harmonise with the low-rise buildings of the residential area. The number of sun beams changes as the day progresses, with a single beam at noon heralding the end of the typical church service. Vertical grooves carved into the sheer concrete walls aim to provide further sound absorption.