Tokyo-based architects Satoru Hirota have given a new life to the beloved landmark in north-eastern Tokyo, the Tsunyuji Temple. They have both refurbished and complemented it with modern facilities.
Tsunyuji Temple Renovation Technical Information
- Architect1-3: Satoru Hirota Architects
- Location: Tokyo, Japan
- Type: Temple
- Project Year: 2014
- Area: 134 m2
- Photographs: © Courtesy of Satoru Hirota Architects
A temple of a new era.
– Satoru Hirota
Tsunyuji Temple Renovation Photographs
The Edo-period Buddhist temple was destroyed during WWII air-raids and modestly rebuilt in 1949, but had since been poorly kept with the site exhibiting signs of destruction. The minimalist intervention, which includes the addition of a reception hall, priests’ quarters, and a new courtyard, succeeds in reinstating the shrine’s dignity and reinvigorating it in a contemporary way, presenting to the public, as the architects say, “a temple of a new era.”
Text by the Architects
The site is located in the northeast corner—the north side of the site facing the schoolyard and children’s park. The precinct was poorly ventilated and was in a state of lack of cleanliness as a sacred space. The main hall is kept to refurbishment, the north side of the site became parking. Housing and office were one of the buildings.
Housing and office indicate that the different functions as space. The outer wall of the office is a grilled cedar planking. It was set to evoke a plate fence that separates the parking lot and grounds. The residential interior becomes a separate space from the other temple space. It has been a consideration to protect the family’s privacy. Since the reception hall is to provide the visitor with a more relaxed atmosphere, it was arranged to be directed to the personal site through the yard.
The eaves of the reception hall are kept low. It leads the diffused light from the north in the precincts. At the same time, the courtyard of Shirakawa sand was planned to reflect the light into the reception hall. The main shrine represents the figure of the time erected; clean air is full of the precincts. It was reborn as a new space for prayer, and as a beloved landmark in the area. In the future, we hope the temple to be loved as a symbol of the region.
Tsunyuji Temple Gallery
About Satoru Hirota
Satoru Hirota is a Japanese architect. In 2000 he founded his studio Satoru Hirota Architects with Yasuko Hirota. The studio undertakes projects in architecture, interior design, residential, business, and retail spaces.
- Design team: Satoru Hirota + Yasuko Hirota
- Structural Design: Nieda Atelier / Taizen Nieda + Taizo Komatsu
- Contractor: Enaka Constructions Co., Ltd. / Masataka Ibaraki