Inagawa Cemetery Warehouse

This warehouse of Inagawa Reien will provide functional support to the administrative wing designed by David Chipperfield Architects. Although visitors will have no reason to enter the warehouse at all, its placement at the entrance to the cemetery grounds means that visitors will see this building first. Since all visitors will arrive by automobile, a concept that could contribute to people’s periodic visits to their family graves was considered for those brief moments spent passing by the warehouse.
In order to save the initial high emotion of arrival for the administrative wing, the warehouse visible at the point of entry is made with sloped roof and smoked cedar siding like the surrounding traditional farmhouses, blending discreetly into the landscape. The departing view, however, cuts a completely different figure for the building. As the final landmark of the visit, the exterior walls for this vantage are finished with bengala red pigment (iron oxide) to invoke the image of the torii (distinctive gate to Japanese Shinto shrine) and provide a boundary between the spiritual and secular worlds. For those visitors who have paid their respects at the family grave, the motif offers passage from the emotions experienced at a cemetery to a return home to daily life via religious boundary.

Location: Inagawa-cho, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Usage: Warehouse
Completion: 2015.10
Design: Key Operation Inc./ Architects
Atelier Fish
Contractor: Ichiyoshi Kogyo
Photos: Yasushi Ichikawa