The spiraling Ribbon Chapel by Tokyo-based Hiroshi Nakamura is a gracefully flowing structure tucked away in a luxury resort on the Hiroshima shoreline in Japan. The building is wrapped in two ribbon-like staircases, which flow around a central structure, creating a unique chapel for couples to seal their wedding vows.
The painted wooden staircases rise 15.4 meters, intertwining with one another to create both a supportive structure and a symbol for the unity of marriage. A curving titanium zinc handrail provides security and can also stand up to the salty sea air. The spiraling stairs aren’t just symbolic; they create a structure of support for the interior glazing. The staircases provide horizontal support while steel posts support the vertical load.
Couples begin the ceremony in the body of the building inside an airy chapel. From there, the ceremony is completed at the top of the building, where the two staircases widen and connect to create a platform with a stunning view of the Seto Inland Sea. The bride and groom each climb a separate staircase and, once they are wed, choose a single staircase on which they can descend together as a newly united couple. “Just as two lives go through twists and turns before uniting as one, the two spirals seamlessly connect at their 15.4-meter summit to form a single ribbon,” said Nakamura.
Images via Nacasa and Partners