Designed by Ryuichi Ashizawa Architect & Associates, the Eco Thon Chapel is equipped with a row of harp strings that turn the lakeside hotel chapel into a huge musical instrument that plays whenever the wind blows. Harp strings are pulled taut across an opening in the three-story, golden plywood structure, and the strings reverberate in the wind to create sounds.
Located on the shoreline of Lake Biwa near the city of Moriyama, the chapel is used for wedding ceremonies. It has an adjoining bridal suite and banquet hall in the hotel. The zigzagging edge of each floor is supported by sloping slabs of concrete set at right angles to the glass facade. The concrete structure is complimented with traditional materials, including coarse-textured partitions made using plaster and soil.
The building has trees planted on the east side, which are expected to grow into a patch of woodland. Two artificial ponds are dug into the strip between the hotel and the lake to create a link between the architecture and its natural surroundings.
Photos by Kaori Ichikawa