Shin Takamatsu Architect and Associates Co.,Ltd. 株式会社高松伸建築設計事務所

Higashi Honganji Reception Hall

Having made the decision to rebuild the dilapidated reception hall of Higashi Hongan-ji (the head temple of Jodo Shinshu Otani Buddhism), this was taken as an opportunity to enlarge it. Having undergone multiple renovations due to fires during the Edo and Meiji periods, the layout of the temple buildings were in an overwhelmingly rigid composition, such that there was no place for a new hall. Accordingly, and in a sense naturally, I was forced to place the most of the building underground, with the exception of a small entrance space. The white-gravel garden facing the existing main hall has been preserved for Imperial ceremonies, and every evening it attains a majestic presence due to the light emitted from skylights that I have named “sun ring” and “moon ring.” I have, so to speak, designed a scene within the space of a Buddhist temple. At the same time, this could be described as a demonstration of how contemporary architecture may be inserted within a historical city.

Site area
Building area
Total area
Completion Date
: Kyoto JAPAN
: B3F 1F
: 92,387m2
: 570m2
: 3,487m2
: 1998