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    © Higashide Photo Studio
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Miho Institute of Aesthetics, Chapel

Shigaraki, Japan

Project Architect: I.M. Pei Architect
Associate Architect: I/O Architects
Executing Architect: Masatoyo Ogasawara Architects
Completion: 2012

Centrally composed within a new academic campus in Shigeraki, Japan, stands a great architect’s final project. The Miho Institute of Aesthetics Chapel is symbolically and architecturally the school’s centerpiece, purposefully elevated atop a sloped incline and, in form, deliberately contrasting with surrounding angular building forms. Inspired by folding a simple square of paper into a cone and the drape of an oriental gown, this deceivingly simple building was realized only through great discipline. Responding to this inspiration, the lighting system was obliged to maintain similar simplicity.

There are only three lighting elements in the 5,220 sq. ft. chapel: a circular chandelier overhead, a cove where the walls meet the floor, and a stanchion supporting a line of gimbals lighting the altar. No lighting hardware marks the custom cedar plank walls and there is no ceiling, therefore, all lighting elements had to be unique and appropriate solutions for this elegant and simple building.

  • 2013 IESNY Lumen of Excellence
  • 2013 IES Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award
  • 2013 IES Illumination Award of Merit