The Juyosho Visitors Center at The Homangu Kamado Shrine
February 19th, 2013- Japanese architecture is commonly rich in symbolism, nature, and culture, which is what Wonderwall Studio’s founder, Masamichi Katayama had in mind when he designed the new Juyosho Visitors Center at the Homangu Kamado Shrine in Dazaifu, a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Worshipers have long believed the Homangu Kamado Shrine to be home to the god that protects Dazaifu and the god of love and matchmaking. In the spring, the ceremonial site attracts visitors with its beautiful cherry blossoms, then again in fall with its colorful autumn leaves. The Juyosho Visitors Center is the place where visitors come to purchase ofuda and omamori, talismans and charms to bring good fortune and ward off evil.
Katayama specifically designed the new center in the image of a “hearth surrounded by an earthen floor”—a reflection of the uniqueness of the land, which is called Kamadoyama (“cooking hearth mountain”) because its shape resembles a cooking hearth. The ways in which various people love is expressed in the random placement of a gradation of pale hues, pink marble tiles on the wall, and the shrine’s crest with a cherry blossom motif is used on the ceiling and walls. On the terrace of the visitor’s center is the Kamado Shrine’s viewing deck, where benches designed by Jasper Morrison have rotating seats which are adaptable so that people can sit in a variety of directions.