Sayama Lakeside Cemetery
Community Hall

“Architecture that Continues to Evolve for Eternity”

All photos by Koji Fujii / Nacasa and Partners Inc.

Office and Reception

Office and Reception

Community Hall and Dining Room

Community Hall and Dining Room


How Can We Express “Eternity” in Architecture?
Dialogue: Hiroshi Nakamura (architect) x Hideyuki Osawa (Chief Director, Boenfukyukai Foundation)

Osawa: “In building the Community Hall of Sayama Lakeside Cemetery, I had wanted you to create a place that embodies a cemetery’s timelessness, a place where the passage of time itself plays an important role in making it a richer place.”

Nakamura: “The distinctive feature of this cemetery is the beauty of the surrounding forest and mountain landscape. Out of respect for the landscape, I proposed a low-sitting, one-story building. Importance was placed on bringing the lush greenery and presence of nature into the interior, and to constitute the space by means of universal elements of wood, rock, water and light.
The second priority was to be considerate towards the feelings of visitors. Although it is in fact possible to look out onto an extremely beautiful landscape from here, a purpose decision was made to create an architecture that had a serene and somewhat reserved disposition.” ”

Osawa: “The view of the pool outside the windows in magnificent. And it’s not just a pool –the water reflects the greenery around it.”

Nakamura: “The light of the sun reflects off the pool and the beautiful image of its ripples appear on the ceiling. The aspect of the sunlight filtering through the trees and top-side light gradually and steadily changes throughout the day in correspondence to the drifting clouds and the breeze. When visitors come to pay their respects, it serves as a place where natural phenomena can be felt as being quietly spoken to by their deceased loved ones.”

Osawa: “We find eternity in the never-ending stream of instantaneous change. The materials had to be of the finest quality if they were to age gracefully, as they would gradually transform day after day after day. We looked all over the world for the stone we selected for the Community Hall’s flooring and breast wall.”

Nakamura: “Installing the polished black plaster wall was also a tremendous task. Since it takes incredible skill to apply the plaster, we had several experienced artisans to do the work, getting them to redo it 4 or 5 times.”

Osawa: “The Community Hall brings together the essence of material and technique in every aspect. It was a series of challenges best described as making the impossible possible.”


[excerpt from『The Architecture of Sayama Lakeside Cemetery』(2015)]


Sayama Community Hall

Religious Architecture Award / Merit in category of New Facilities 2013
AR Awards(Emerging Architecture Awards) / Merit 2015

Exterior of Sayama Forest Chapel

Sayama Community Hall Outline

Location 2050 Kamiyamaguchi, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama-ken >Map[PDF]  >Google Map
Primary use Office
Client Boenfukyukai Foundation
Architectural design Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Structural engineering Arup
Supervision Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Construction Matsui Kensetsu
Scale Site area: 765.86㎡ Building area: 458.89㎡ Totol floor area: 490.36㎡ Underground floor: 147.41㎡ Ground floor: 342.95㎡ Building-to-land ratio: 59.92%(allowed: 60%) Floor area ratio: 51.23%(allowed: 100%) Floors: one above ground, one underground
Dimensions Maximum height: 7670mm Eave height: 6620mm Ceiling height: lounge: 2300〜5400mm
Primary structure Steel frame with sections of steel-reinforced concrete and wood construction
Pilings, foundation : Direct foundation (mat foundation)
Schedule Design schedule: November 2010 to September 2011
Construction schedule: December 2011 to January 2013

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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.