Temple architecture

Shoumyouji Temple Bell Hut by Onishimaki+Hyakudayuki Architects

Shoumyouji Temple is located in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and the new ringing hall was designed by Onishimaki + Hyakudayuki Architects. The model is built on land reclaimed from the sea and the mountains that surround it. Ascending the long steps to the temple, one can see the hall of bells and, beyond, the sea in the distance, with the sound of the bells ringing out to sea and town.

First, Onishimaki+Hyakudayuki Architects recommended a modest building that respected the existing ringing hall, but the monk asked them to create something that would catch people’s attention. The area under the roof where the bell hangs is a cave-like extension of an existing stone wall with a distinctive roof that reflects the curve of the surrounding mountains.

Architects Onishimaki+Hyakudayuki chose to stack the wood using the Jenga technique and carve the shape in 3D. They created a 1/5 size model with a real little bell hanging for the monks to see, which ultimately led to the design being completed.

Architects Onishimaki + Hyakudayuki used cedar bark for the roofing so that the trees appear to be covered in a thick layer of bark. Each piece of cedar bark was cut by hand in a workshop and placed on the roof with the full cooperation of the folks at the Kure National Institute of Technology. Looking at the roof, you can tell that every piece of roof material has been handcrafted with great care, which gives the bell tower a sense of presence.

Project information:

Design: onishimaki+hyakudayuki / o+h architects
Timber Frame Materials: Shelter
Location: Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture.
Site area: 1,669.91 m²
Building area: 9.35 m²