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

The Sun-Pu Church in Shizuoka is a remarkable architectural gem designed by renowned Japanese architect Taira Nishizawa. Completed in 2008, this beautiful structure is a true testament to the designer’s exceptional talent and innovative approach to design. One of the most striking features of the church is its dynamic light movement, which reflects the choreography of the building’s life and adds a unique element to its overall design. With its stunning blend of form, function, and art, the Sun-Pu Church is a must-visit destination for architecture and design enthusiasts.

Sun-Pu Church 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
Sun-Pu Church Exterior | © Flickr: japanese_craft_construction
Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa
Sun-Pu Church Corner | © DimDesign
Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa
Roof Skylights | © Flickr: japanese_craft_construction
Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa
The light inside the space | © DimDesign
Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa
Interior Details | © Flickr: japanese_craft_construction
Sunpu Church in Shizuoka / Taira Nishizawa
Interior Space | © Flickr: japanese_craft_construction

Discover the Beauty of Sun-Pu Church: An Overview

Taira Nishizawa Architects’ Sun-Pu Church is a unique and stunning architectural masterpiece that showcases Nishizawa’s innovative approach to design and construction. Completed in 2008, the church is located in Shizuoka Prefecture and boasts a distinctive cubic chapel clad with rough-hewn red cedar strips, which creates an interplay of light and shadow that changes the building’s appearance with each moment and angle. The untreated wood will weather to a beautiful silver-gray color over time.

Inside, the delicate interiors are covered with horizontal pine slats, while wooden trusses support the 1,330mm (52 inches) thick ceiling and 760mm (30 inches) thick walls that are lined with thick fabric and glass wool insulation to block out the surrounding noise from the adjacent railway. The church is filled with natural light that seeps through slits in the ceiling and sidewalls, giving the sacred space a “gauzy quality.” Taira Nishizawa’s Sun-Pu Church is a remarkable example of his architectural mastery and innovative use of materials.

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

Taira Nishizawa is a prominent Japanese architect who has established a reputable name for himself since opening his Tokyo studio in 1993. He is considered one of the leading figures among his peers, being on par with globally recognized practices like Klein Dytham Architects and Tezuka Architects.

Nishizawa’s portfolio encompasses a wide range of projects, from small residential homes to large-scale sports facilities. He is particularly known for his innovative use of timber structures in his designs, which is highlighted in his publication “Wooden Works“. The book showcases a comprehensive overview of his works, including the Sun-Pu Church, a commercial building in Okinawa, and a house in Utsuno Miya.

  1. Cite from the Interview between Taira Nishizawa and Andrew Barrie
  2. Taira Nishizawa – Wooden Works 2004-2010 by Taira Nishizawa