Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

The Sun-Pu Church in Shizuoka designed by Japanese Architect Taira Nishizawa and completed in 2008 deals with the lights movement to reflect the choreography of the building’s life.

Sun-Pu Church in Shizuoka technical information

I’m always thinking about the natural environment. That is the big rival for architects. There are so many different varieties or types of environment in the natural world, but in comparison, within architecture there isn’t sufficient variety. We should create different types of space in our buildings.

– Taira Nishizawa1

Sun-Pu Church in Shizuoka Photographs
Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

© Flickr: japanese_craft_construction

Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

© DimDesign

Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

© Flickr: japanese_craft_construction

Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

© DimDesign

Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

© Flickr: japanese_craft_construction

Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa

© Flickr: japanese_craft_construction

Sun-Pu Church description

From the street, the Sun-pu Church  is easily recognised by the particular design of the building. The Church in Shizuoka Prefecture completed its renovation in 2008 under the direction of Taira Nishizawa Architects.  Apart from the entrance located on a corner, the cubic chapel is clad with rough-hewn red cedar strips. The irregular surface produces an interplay of light and shadow, changing the appearance of the building at every moment and angle. The untreated wood will turn to a silver gray in a few years.

The delicate interior are covered with horizontal pine slats. Wooden trusses support a 1,330 mm-thick (52 inches) ceiling and 760 mm-thick (30 inches) walls, which are covered with thick fabric and glass wool insulation to block out the noise of the adjacent railway.Daylight from above seeps through slits lining the ceiling and sidewalls, producing, what the architects describes as, a “gauzy quality” to the sacred space.

The Church Sun-Pu required specific spatial qualities. Just thinking functionally about a church, it’s not much different from a classroom. But the space must feel very different, so I needed a strategy to control that environment directly.

I manipulated the performance of the external walls and roof to control the light and sound conditions, which are what distinguishes a church from a normal classroom or meeting place.

– Taira Nishizawa1

About Taira Nishizawa

Since opening his Tokyo studio in 1993, Taira Nishizawa has established himself as a leading figure among his generation of Japanese architects he stands alongside such globally recognized practices as Klein Dytham Architects and Tezuka Architects. Nishizawas work ranges from small residential homes to large sports facilities. He makes particular use of innovative timber structures. ‘Wooden Works’ is a printed version of his lecture tour on wooden constructions and offers a full description of projects such as: the Sun-Pu Church, a commercial building at Oki-nawa, and a house in Utsuno Miya. Further Readings:  Taira Nishizawa – Wooden Works 2004-2010

  1. Cite from the Interview between Taira Nishizawa and Andrew Barrie
Cite this article: "Sun-Pu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa," in ArchEyes, March 4, 2016, http://archeyes.com/sunpu-church-shizuoka-taira-nishizawa/.