Suzuka Church | Alphaville Architects

| 11 : 15 – 13 March 2018 |


Inspired by spectacular mountains surrounding Suzuka city, Kyoto based Alphaville Architects designed Catholic Suzuka Church featuring a eye striking cascade of sloping roofs.

Located at a busy intersection in the motor city of Japan in Suzuka, this church houses a chapel, meeting room and father’s residence. Built on 2 floors, the church designed by Alphaville Architects for the Catholic Diocese of Kyoto, is a modernist architectural addition to the cityscape with its eye striking roofing. White galvanized steel sheets primarily covers all roof and the stairway leading to upper main floors. The shape of the building is no less striking as it tries to cover most of the site area on ground floor which has visitor parking and Mary’s garden.

 Aerial view


Mary’s garden

From the Architects – 

Responding to a dramatic growth in the foreign Catholic community in Suzuka, a new religious space is needed not only for worships but also social interactions. The Catholic Suzuka Church, presented by the Alphaville Architects, is an integration of multiple functions including a chapel, a community hall and residences for priests.

Approach road to church

Located in Suzuka, where the HONDA motor industry bases, the presented project is sitting on the cross junction of two major streets, with one being a newly built motorway and the remaining one being an ancient road connecting Tokyo and Osaka since Edo period.

Site location plan


Site plan

The project features an expressive roof which wraps up all the functional spaces. It is shaped as multiple diagonal arches overlapping each other with gaps. This was inspired by the stunning mountain scape surrounding the city, and reminds citizens of the natural elegance.



Sectional perspective



To handle crowds on Sundays, the whole volume is lifted to maximize the car parking space underneath without shrinking the other functional areas.

Car parking


Parking area

The roof is split into pieces every five meters – referring to the parking lot module – for skylights to introduce southern natural light to the interiors. Connected by two gently inclined staircases, the pilotis and the entrance lobbies on second floor define a plaza for social events and buffering from the heavily motorized city.

Aerial view


Covered pathway

Lobby connecting church and hall

Referring to the “Nori’s figure/ground theory”, the lobby is designed as an extension of the city pathways, manipulating relationships among the “inside-out” spaces converging at the church that allow easy approaches.

Catholic suzuka church, Interiors of a church, chapel, altar



Confession room at the corner

With its lively gesture, this project surpasses precedents with enhanced accessibility, translating worships into daily-life philosophy and bridges mankind to the holy with falls of natural light.

Connecting lobbies, Chapel and meeting room






suzuka church, church design, roofing design, triangular roofs, Lighting design, church

Night view

Project details –

Project Name – Catholic Suzuka Church

Architect Firm Alphaville Architects

Lead Architects –  Kentaro Takeguchi, Asako Yamamoto

Design team – Tomohisa Koike

Location – Suzuka City Mie, Japan

Client name – Catholic Diocese of Kyoto

Project type –  Religious architecture, Church, Chapel

Structural engineer – Takashi Manda

Main Contractor – Matsui Kensetsu Co., Ltd.

Completion Year – 2015

Built Up Area – 839.51 sqm | Site area – 1619.53 sqm | Total floor area – 1588.85 sqm

Total construction cost – 320 million

Photography Credits – © Toshiyuki Yano

Materials – Galvanized steel sheet, Aluminum windows, Concrete, Plaster board, Ashwood flooring, Linden plywood, Molding resin panel, Calcium Silicate board, Asphalt pavement

Suppliers –

Sanitary fittings – TOTO, Sanwa Company Ltd.

Ceramic fittings – TOTO, Sanwa Company Ltd.

Luminaries – Panasonic, DAIKO

Doors/Windows – LIXIL

Roofing & FacadeJFE Galvanizing & Coating Co., Ltd.


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