Sayama Lakeside Cemetery
Sayama Forest Chapel
Sayama Forest Chapel

Recipient of the 2016 ARCASIA Award for Architecture “Building of the Year”

Exterior of Sayama Forest chapel

Interior view

All photos by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.

“Architecture is that which offers prayer together with the people praying inside.”
── Hiroshi Nakamura (architect)

The “Sayama Forest Chapel” as described by Hiroshi Nakamura who was involved in the project, is a building that was designed “with the intention to create a sense of unity in which the architecture itself seems to be offering prayer together with the people praying inside.” A more pure and new type of gassho-style building was realized through a cruk framing structure in which sets of two columns are made to stand leaning up against each other. Covering the roof are aluminum-cast sheets each bearing a size of 180 x 200 mm and a thickness of 4 mm, developed in collaboration with the casting artisans of Kawaguchi City. Due to challenging ourselves to make the sheets as thin as possible in order to be able to bend them by hand, the manufacturing process had proved extremely difficult. Each handmade sheet had a different current mark, which created a distinct and characteristic demeanor. The Sayama Forest Chapel that has welcomed visitors since its opening in 2013 has received numerous international architecture awards, and last year was honored as the recipient of the 2016 ARCASIA Award for Architecture “Building of the Year.”

Hiroshi Nakamura

photo by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.

1974 Born in Tokyo
1999 Master's degree, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Meiji University
1997 Worked for Kengo Kuma & Associates (-2002)
2002 Established Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

The Japan Institute of Architects Award/ JIA Award Excellent Architecture
AIJ Selected Architectural Designs 2015
JIA Sustainable Architecture Award
BCS Prize
JAAF Award Nichijiren Kenchikusho Shoreisho
JIA Young Architects Award
ShiKenchiku Award
Grand Prize, JCD Design Award
Overall Winner, LEAF AWARDS 2015
Building of the Year, ARCASIA Awards for Architecture 2016
Winner, WAN Sustainable Buildings Award 2016 Winner
First Prize, ar+d Awards …etc

photo by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.

View from a cemetery area

Sayama Forest Chapel Awards

Building of the Year, ARCASIA Awards for Architecture 2016
A+Award 2016 Popular Choice Winner in Typology Categories
Platinum in the ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN/ Small Architecture category in the 2016, American Architecture Prize
AR Emerging Architecture Awards 2015 highly recommended prize
Exterior of Sayama Lakeside Cemetery Community Hall

Sayama Forest Chapel / Credits and building outline

Location 2050 Kamiyamaguchi, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama-ken >MAP[PDF]  >Google Map
Primary use Chapel, Ossuary
Client Boenfukyukai Foundation
Architectural design Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Structural engineering Arup
Supervision Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Construction Shimizu Corporation
Scale Site area: 148.22㎡ Building area: 69.32㎡ Totol floor area: 110.49㎡ Underground floor: 41.17㎡ Ground floor: 69.32㎡ Building-to-land ratio: 46.76%(allowed: 60%) Floor area ratio: 74.54%(allowed: 100%) Floors: one above ground, one underground
Dimensions Maximum height: 9300mm Eave height: 9000mm Ceiling height: 7250mm(hightest)
Primary structure Steel-reinforced concrete and wood construction
Pilings foundation: Direct foundation (mat foundation)
Schedule Design schedule: April 2011 to September 2012
Construction schedule: December 2012 to January 2014

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2050 Kamiyamaguchi, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama-ken

Google Map
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Arriving by car
Approximately 30-minute drive from "Tokorozawa I.C" on the Kanetsu Expressway
Approximately 30-minute drive from “Ome I.C” on the Ken-O Expressway or from “Iruma I.C” via the Tokorozawa-Iruma bypass

Arriving by train
10-minute walk from “Seibu-Kyujo-mae Station” on the Seibu Sayama Line or the Seibu Yamaguchi Line (Leo Liner)

Arriving by train and car
10-minute drive from “Kotesashi Station” on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line
10-minute drive from “Kamikitadai Station” on the Tamatoshi-Monorail

About cancellation of building information
We have guided many building visitors since the construction was completed, but due to the prevention of the spread of new coronavirus infection, we will cancel the building guidance for the time being. Please cooperate with the tour from outside the building. Please contact the cemetery management office for details as they may change depending on the situation.
However, this does not apply to prior visits by customers who are considering legal matters or those who are considering new acquisition of a grave.