Trappistine Monastery of Our Lady of Nishino-miya
- Murano-Mori Architecture Design Office
- Takenaka Corporation
- On a hillside in Nishino-miya, tucked in the dense foliage, stands a monastery (convent), complex. On the higher part of the site, a chapel and other public elements are placed along an elevated cloister around the courtyard. While the monastery program, the sloping site, the chapel and courtyard parti, the exterior appearance, etc., all point to Le Corbusier’s La Tourette, as being the explicit model, there are some intriguing differences between La Tourette, with a deforested site in a certain detached and isolated relationship with nature, and this complex, with a tree-buried site in a harmonious and symbiotic relationship with nature. Likewise, the tender manner in which the columns and beams are placed as well as the softer and warmer ambience created in the cloister around the courtyard, being put altogether, impregnate the entire complex with an intimate Japanese sensibility. Therefore, Togo Murano, the architect responsible, while taking the obvious hommage to Le Corbusier and La Tourette, yet, through the process of assimilation, interpretation and transformation, successfully created his own original architectural world.