Meiso no Mori

Meiso no Mori” was planned to reconstruct a decrepit crematorium as part of a cemetery in a park. This cemetery, which is currently being developed, is located in a serene site, nestled in mountains with various trees and plants in the south and facing a pond in the north. The design brief called for a sublime space appropriate to give the last honors to the deceased, while subtly integrating the surrounding landscape of the park cemetery. Our idea was to respond not with a conventional massive crematorium but with an architecture of a spacious roof floating above the site like slowly drifting clouds creating a soft field. We investigated a freely curved reinforced-concrete shell structure to construct a roof characterized by concavities and convexities. The shape of the roof structure was determined by an algorithm generating the optimum structural solution. Since this type of structural analysis resembles the growth patterns of plants which keep transforming following simple natural rules, the process is called “evolution.” Several hundred such evolutionary cycles produced the final shape. The curved line becomes landscape, in harmony with the edge silhouette of the surrounding mountains. Four structural cores and twelve cone columns with built-in rainwater collection pipes are positioned evenly under the roof structure. Ceremonial spaces are placed between the cores and columns effectively. The smooth roof line also articulates the ceiling in the interior. Indirect light softly illuminates the curved ceiling and spreads to all directions. The funeral ceremonies will be administered in this serene space with the expressive nuances of light.


18 photos and 12 drawings

Building Activity