The composition of construction was a one-storied building with a restrained height so that it might harmonize with a low-rise residential area and aimed at creating space appropriate to prayer and worship with the six curved surface roofs at different heights, which allowed natural light to pour down between those roofs. A message got across that six roofs means the first to sixth day from the Creation in the Bible genesis and worship manifests the seventh day.
Direct sunlight was inappropriate for the time zone of service, but considering that direct sunlight was appropriate for the time zone except for service, this construction was designed to create a space of skylight during the time zone for service (10:30-12:00 in Sunday morning) and direct sunlight during other time zones. So, light was simulated at intervals of 30 minutes on the representative days in 12 months and manipulated according to the time zones. As a result, the time zone for service comes to create a space under a soft skylight throughout year. If service comes close to finishing time, direct sunlight begins to draw a ray of light on the wall surface. Dynamic alterations take place that direct sunlight changes to the state of one line in the afternoon and further takes another form to pour down like shower at around three o’clock.
Uneven longitudinal ribs were carved at random rhythm to the exposed RC concrete wall of the chapel, and dark gray acoustic boards were placed between the ribs. Conflicting requirement arrived at a solution through striking a balance, by making it easy to hear priests’ preach and Bible Readings with concave acoustic boards, and the sound of ecclesiastical music such as hymns with RC convex surfaces. Flutter echo reduces by random rib pitches. Contrast of dark gray concave surfaces against light stands out a light gray brightness of direct sunlight shooting the convex surfaces. Based on the idea that modern church construction has to provide a space to enable the Bible Readings, it came up to mind that the state of direct sunlight shooting through a dark space became a reality in a bright, not dark space.
Space where direct sunlight reveals various expressions according to times is suitable for one person’s or several people’s prayer. In the afternoon after prayer, it becomes a space for prayer by the small number of people and direct sunlight changes the number of the ray from one to two or three and its angle by the minute.
Info and images © Takeshi Hosaka
Shonan Christ Church by Takeshi Hosaka