Hiroshi Nakamura’s Double Helix Chapel

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Rising up like out of the trees like a strand of DNA is the Ribbon Chapel, a new wedding venue designed by architect Hiroshi Nakamura (previously). But instead of continuing upwards, the two spirals softly come together at the top, creating a symbolically important gesture for a wedding venue. In fact, the ceremony allows for the bride and groom to climb the separate ribbon spirals and meet at the top while guests observe the spectacle from the yard below. The top of the chapel also serves as an observation deck, looking out over the Seto Inland Sea.

The structure itself seems to be a feat of engineering itself, which I won’t even pretend to try and understand. But apparently the entire structure is supported by the spiral stairs. They act like springs, which help absorb earthquakes.


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Photos via @naparchitects, @ToshikoFerrier


  1. In one of those little twists of linguistics, it’s the Seto Inland Sea, rather than the Setouchi Sea. Cities like Setouchi, Okayama confuse the issue, but the name is definitely Seto, with the 内 referring to the fact that it’s a sea almost entirely enclosed by islands.

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