Gallery and Guest House in Temple Grounds in Kyoto

This new structure has been sensitively inserted into the environment of a 17th-century temple. It consists of a white cubic volume sunk 6 metres into the ground and covered by a lantern roof that seems to float above the surrounding bed of gravel. Access to the building is via a staircase that descends between two concrete walls clad in black granite. Slits in the roof allow only a limited amount of light into the staircase space. The priest’s quarters are entered at gallery level. Cut into the centre of the white cube is a courtyard with obscured-glass walls, which lend it the appearance of a diffusely lit volume. The light falling through the transparent glass roof is of a quite different quality that seems to dissolve the contours of space.
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