The site is midway on a hill enjoying a panoramic view of the Inland Sea of Japan. By joining two spiral stairways so that one supports the other, the architects produced a free-standing structure. Ordinarily, a building is composed of distinct elements: roof, wall, and floor. Here, however, the entwining stairways perform as roofs, eaves, walls, and floors to produce the building’s spaces. The stairways widen in breadth in response to location and function, such as at the summit where the couple meets, in directions having fine views, and in places where the eaves must be deep to shield the interior from the sun. The building’s exterior is finished in upright wood panels, painted white so as to deepen in beauty as time passes, and titanium zinc alloy, a material resistant to damage from the sea breeze and pliable enough to be applied to curvature. Employing the zinc alloy on the coping, walls, ceiling, and window sashes enabled a simple design unified by means of a single material.
Info and images © NAP Architects
Two entwining spiral stairways form The Ribbon Chappel