Inagawa Cemetery is located on a steep site in the Hokusetsu Mountain Range of the Hyogo prefecture, approximately 40 kilometres north of Osaka. The cemetery is laid out across terraces and bisected by a monumental flight of steps leading up to a shrine at the highest point – an axis that orients the whole project.
▼建筑概览，overview ©Keiko Sasaoka
The visitor centre and chapel are designed as a marked threshold between the outer world and a quieter space within for contemplation. Aligned with the central staircase, and as a counterpoint to the shrine, the visitor and chapel spaces are gathered around a courtyard. Visitors approach this space from an exterior platform that leads to a wide, framed central opening in the stepped south-east façade.
▼入口区域，entrance area ©Keiko Sasaoka
The programme is formally arranged under a single, sloping roof plane, following the view line from the entrance up to the shrine. The rooms of the visitor centre open onto the courtyard garden while the secluded chapel remains separate. It can be reached via a discrete corridor, directly accessed from the outside or up a gentle ramp from the garden. An unadorned and quiet room with minimal heating and artificial lighting offers a non-denominational contemplative space, pure in its form.
▼一座巨大的楼梯构成了整个场地的轴线，并一直延伸到墓园的最顶端， the cemetery is laid out across terraces and bisected by a monumental flight of steps leading up to a shrine at the highest point – an axis that orients the whole project ©Keiko Sasaoka
Relying on indirect sunlight from the gardens on either side, the chapel visitor finds seclusion and their focus is drawn to the essential rhythms of time through the natural indicators of daylight fluctuation and seasonal foliage changes. The planting of all the gardens is inspired by the palettes and textures of Japanese meadows and woodlands and a selection of grasses, shrubs and wild flowers are carefully juxtaposed.
▼中庭花园，courtyard garden ©Keiko Sasaoka
On the diagonally opposite corner of the courtyard is the visitor centre. Two large rooms at the lower end of the roof provide for family gatherings and commemorations. The visitors lounge offers an informal area for resting and eating. The memorial room, which can be separated into three smaller rooms by pleated curtains made with washi paper on fabric, offers space for formal feasts after rituals.
▼从游客中心望向礼拜堂，the chapel seen from the visitor centre ©Keiko Sasaoka
The floors, walls and roof are formed as pure building elements and poured from the same earth-like red coloured concrete – honed for internal floors and ground and sandblasted for walkway walls and soffits – giving the overall structure a monolithic appearance. A range of furniture designed specifically for the project consisting of simple, informal painted wooden chairs, benches, tables can be re-arranged depending on the occasion.
▼地板、墙壁和屋顶皆以相同的赤土色混凝土浇筑而成，the floors, walls and roof are formed as pure building elements and poured from the same earth-like red coloured concrete ©Keiko Sasaoka
Following the axial link between the two ends of the site, a rill carries water down the middle of the staircase from the top of the mountain directly towards the building. As it approaches the lower part of the staircase near the chapel, the running water slows and pools as it collects into a trough, then is diverted through a new underground channel under the site to the nearby canal.
▼鸟瞰图，aerial view ©Keiko Sasaoka
▼设计草图，design sketch ©David Chipperfield
▼平面图，plan ©David Chipperfield Architects
▼立面图，elevation ©David Chipperfield Architects
▼剖面图，sections ©David Chipperfield Architects
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