The Japanese region of Chiryu has an old tradition of temple-shaped buildings. They are designed along the same lines, with low eaves onto the street and higher eaves facing the other side. Mount Fuji Architects has taken this on board in creating Chiryu recreation centre, a two-storey building with classrooms and a café.
Externally, the building’s distinct silhouette with its two peaks lends a modern tone to the area, while the geometric shape also suggests that this is a building for science. But although the glazed side gives a taste of the interior, it is only when the visitor enters the building that the gently curving ceiling reveals its full glory, with its clear reference to the many temples and the culture of the local area. The suspended ceiling’s unusual but sensual design, with short beams of Japanese red pine held together by steel pins, forms a natural catenary curve that only takes up tensile forces and whose delightful form runs the whole length of the building.