Thursday Salute to Originals: Sunpu Church

A Japanese architect creates an understated place of worship.

Tokyo-based architect Taira Nishizawa created an understated church that focuses less on overly religious themes but creates a serene place for churchgoers to worship. Sun-pu Church is a windowless building that features an open roof that allows for indirect sky views as well as sunlight to fill the sanctuary.

“Specific spatial qualities. Just thinking functionally about a church, it’s not much different from a classroom. But the space must feel very different,” said Nishizawa in an interview with Arch Eyes — an online architecture magazine.

Sound and light are two dimensions that Nishizawa focused on when defining this space. Through soundproofing and manipulating the external walls, Nishizawa creates a quiet space that separates the church from just an ordinary classroom.

Through its modest design, void of ornate trimmings, the architect was able to create a space that is a unique expression of minimalism. The slatted pine roof allows natural sunlight to enter the space creating a connection with the outside world.

This Thursday, we’re Saluting Taira Nishizawa and his minimal church design. You can check out more of the architect’s current projects on Twitter, and you can learn more about the story of this project in Nishizawa’s book Wooden Works.

Sources: Taira Nishizawa, This is Colossal