The Westin Miyako Kyoto / Chapel Renovation | KATORI archi+design associates

Release Time: January 19, 2021

Project Outline:

Project Name : The Westin Miyako Kyoto / Chapel Renovation

Location : Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Renovation Area : 237m2

Completion Date : April, 2020

Client : Kintetsu Miyako Hotels International,Inc.

Project Credit

Interior Design : Takenori Katori , Fumi Habara / KATORI archi+design associates

Photography : Tomohiro Sakashita

Designer Information:

KATORI archi+design associates (

Address : 4-31-6 domusKinutakoen 402, Kinuta, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0073, Japan

Project Team

Lighting design : ModuleX Inc.

Acoustical design : Naniwa Chiba Acoustics Inc.

Contractor : KINSO Inc.


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Founded 130 years ago, the Westin Miyako Kyoto is an elegant hotel with a proud history nestled into the foothills of the city’s Higashiyama district; the present main building and Kasui-en Annex were both designed by Togo Murano and completed in 1960 and 1959 respectively. The same elegance and quality were essential in this major renovation and earthquake retrofit of the wedding chapel, which occupies a separate building on the hotel property.

© Tomohiro Sakashita

Intended to express “the new spirit of Kyoto,” the highly original chapel is able to accommodate the increasingly diverse range of wedding styles sought by contemporary couples, including not only conventional church ceremonies but also Shinto and non-religious ceremonies. Over the course of the two-year project that began in 2018, we utilized as much of the existing framework as possible while also incorporating elements of traditional shrine and temple architecture, adding a wooden ceiling lattice interwoven with indirect lighting that evokes sunlight pouring through the branches of trees and highlights the beauty of the shadows and gradations that are created as light falls through the multi-layered lattice.

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

We also strengthened the connection with the woods behind the building by redesigning the windows to remove mullions and increase transparency, as well as by shining a sunny light on the natural-stone wall in order to bring the exterior space into the interior. The wooden louvers on the walls create a sense of depth and rhythm, both tying the entire space together by linking to the ceiling lattice and ensuring the high quality, serene reverberations required in a chapel.

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

In designing the space, we valued the atmosphere created by materials themselves, expressing the contrast between delicacy and strength through the use of fine cedar woodwork that has been stained and fire-proofed, and unpolished granite from the mountains of Shodoshima. The result is a sacred space imbued with traditional Japanese aesthetics and deep respect for its abundant natural surroundings.    

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

# Architecture Design # Cultural Architecture # 建筑改造

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