Himeji, Japan – May we present the wonders of Himeji, a mid-size city close to Osaka? There’s the UNESCO-blessed Himeji Castle, a nearly intact 17th-century wonder that is on the bucket list of most Japanese travellers. There’s the 10th-century Engyō-ji temple, whose superb placement near a mountain summit served as a filming location for The Last Samurai. But, most importantly, if you’re on the market for a destination wedding: there’s the marvellously alien-like Cloud of Luster chapel, the city’s newest addition to an already impressive architectural landscape.
It looks, though, like nothing else in Himeji – and probably Japan. Located in the La-Vienna Ceremony Hall, the new structure by KTX Archilab replaces the more traditional version of a chapel that stood before it. This time, architect Tetsuya Matsumoto and his team wanted the bride and groom to feel as if they were walking on a cloud – that explains the puff-like formations that make up the space.
Now, throughout 245 sq-m, the party can head to the altar via a back-lit glass floor, while their guests are enveloped in transparent curved glass that allows for light to enter in every direction and by a lower water surface reflected on the ceiling – only the technical room and the organ station are covered by a white wall at the back of the chapel. The sprout-like building then opens to a garden and several green walls.
So… if there’s still time, you might want to change your wedding destination to Himeji now. Your Instagram feed will thank you.
Cloud of Luster chapel has been submitted to the spatial design competition of the year – Frame Awards 2020 – for the distinction of Cultural Space of the Year. Stay tuned on the project’s progress or submit your own best work for consideration here.