10 February 2015

In Japan, A Stunning Chapel Encircled By Two Elegant Spiral Staircases

Located on a grassy hillside near the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima, the ‘Ribbon Chapel’ is probably the most stunning chapel in existence.

Designed by Tokyo-based architect Hiroshi Nakamura, who previously designed a glass house and a pregnant building, the 15.4-meter-high structure looks like two elegantly intertwining ribbons.

A pair of timber-clad spiral staircases encircle the chapel’s glazed exterior, converging on a rooftop platform overlooking the Hiroshima coastline.

The design of the chapel symbolizes the union between a husband and wife. “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.

He added that the double stairs were chosen to make the structure more stable, and “architecturally embodied the act of marriage in a pure form.”

The staircases cross paths at several points and support each other horizontally, while steel posts measuring a diameter of 10 centimeters provide vertical support. The curving handrests are made of titanium zinc alloy to withstand erosion from the sea breeze.

The marriage ceremony is conducted in the chapel while nuptials are carried out on the rooftop, where the staircases widen to join together. The bride and groom travel up separate flights, and walk down one path together after taking their vows.

View more pictures of this gorgeous chapel below. Would you like to get married there?

[via Dezeen, images via Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co., Ltd.]