A month ago I had a chance to visit Water Chapel by Tadao Ando. I didn’t cry, just maybe because it’s not appropriate.
Of course, because it is Water Chapel, it happened that I went on a Water Day (my literal translation of Wednesday in Japanese) when the weather decided it was a good idea to pour water from the sky. Rain rendered the space even more unique.
Before I had a slight idea about this space, about fine use of geometry and relationship with nature. I also knew an element such as cross was used. Well, cross carries a heavy set of historical and religious references. One may say it’s a huge symbol. You don’t just play with crosses. So I wondered how the architect played this out.
Only after I realized tha during the visit I “forgot”all the symbolical meaning of the cross. For me it was more of an abstract and timeless element blended so harmoniously with space and nature. Indeed, the chapel complex with its outdoors is attached to a hotel, but still feels like a universe on its own.
This chapel’s main purpose (besides architecture geeks visits) is marriage ceremony service. Interestingly enough, I guess this business is a good way to keep the space in a decent shape.
All in all, it is wonderful to get close to such a great and rare architectural sensibility or maybe just sensibility. It reminds me how far I am from it, but at least leaves me inspired and infinitely impressed. I hope I can live more experiences like this.
Photos taken shortly before I gave up as they do no justice to the space.