Luster, glitter, sparkle, light, shine, and bright are fundamentals of any modern wedding ceremony. The time for writing a new page in people’s life, a white page, all in joy, all in happiness, all together, open to the future, reflecting dreams and hopes, reflecting the Luster of Life.
The previous Aile-Blanche Chapel, part of La-Vienna Wedding Ceremony Hall in Himeji, Japan, was planned to be replaced by a new one that translates the importance and significance of the wedding day into physical space, a place where to engrave the memory of one of the most important days in life.
Dreams and light were depicted as curves and glass, a cloud shaped space for the chapel was enveloped in transparent curved glass bringing day light from all directions. Only the organ space and the technical room are enveloped in a circular white wall at the back of the chapel.
The Chapel opens to the garden and the green walls in front. The left side is open to a water basin and limited by a green fire wall isolating the chapel from the main ceremony hall building.
The Cloud shaped Chapel is all white, a minimalistic ceiling free of any technical machineries or equipment is supported by round columns with a hyperbolic cone head. The same columns support the roof of the approach connecting the main ceremony hall to the chapel and gives access to the garden. The plan is composed by circles of 5m diameters put together at a 5m pitch for the approach and 6m inside the Chapel. The circles on the basin side has a hyperbolic shaped base, creating an impression of a floating chapel. The water surface reflects the floating chapel adding more lightness to the structure and extending the dreams into other dimensions.
Japan uses a specific term while walking down the Aisle, it is called Virgin Road. The cloud of Luster Chapel is doted with a back lit glass floor for the aisle, leading to a minimalistic Altar over the elevated choir. The remaining floor is covered in clear glass beads and resin. This floor finish is extending even outside all over the approach. Technical equipment is all placed on the floor, upper lights are arranged around the columns to enhance the hyperbole heads, and the air-conditioning is made through slits all along the glass curves.
On a sunny day, not only the floor glass beads reflect the light, but the water surface is projected to the ceiling of the chapel and performs a natural spectacle full of life. The Cloud of Luster Chapel translates the wedding ceremony spirit into a built environment offering nothing but a dreamy glistering memory.
Tetsuya Matsumoto, Motoaki Takeuchi, Farid Ziani
PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION, PUBLIC BUILDINGS, Season 2019/20