Yu Momoeda Architecture Office : Agri Chapel

In the heart of Yahazudake National Park in Nagasaki (Japan) the Japanese studio Yu Momoeda Architecture Office reinterprets Gothic religious architecture, which it combines with the local know-how of woodworking. The result ? A place of worship out of the ordinary: Agri Chapel.

Built just a few steps from the Agri Hotel, welcoming many tourists who come to discover the breathtaking landscapes of Yahazudake National Park, located between land and sea, this chapel is as much for the believers of the world as for the local population.

Despite its apparent complexity, the building, inside which are only arranged the prayer benches and an altar, is simply designed on a square plan 10 meters side and 12 height, with white facades pierced in their center a large bay window full height.


On the model of a "traditional" religious building, the ceiling - here overhung with a flat roof - is at the same time carried by the side walls but also a wooden frame and tie rods, which are not without evoking the ribs of the vaults and domes, very present in Gothic places of worship, including the church of Ōura Tenshudō, also in wood, built in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1853 by the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris.

The laminated structure consists of three layers, assembled according to a typical Japanese know-how. The first consists of four large cross pillars of 24 centimeters in section; the second, of 9 square beams of thickness placed at an angle, carrying the last and the smallest elements of the frame: 6 contracks centimeters wide. The tie rods stiffening the whole.

A framework with finesse that accentuates the sensation of volume provided by this sober building, imbued with serenity.

To learn more, visit the site of Yu Momoeda Architecture Office

Photographies: Yousuke Harigane

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