The former Karasuma Church in Kyoto is facing imminent demolition. The 5-story concrete building is a local landmark for its unusual design.
This was the Kyoto church of the Konko-kyo, an independent religion headquartered in Okayama Prefecture. The architect was Kyoto-based Hiroaki Misawa and built in 1971. Misawa also designed the Gion-ishi / Sakashita Building in 1969. Both buildings have a similar motif with a large vessel-type feature at the top. In some ways the design is reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame de Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France.
Once demolished, part of the land will be joined with the neighboring former Kyoto Chamber of Commerce site and redeveloped into a hotel. The former Chamber of Commerce building was apparently sold to Kanden Realty & Development for 7 billion Yen (approx. 66 million USD at the time) in early 2018. The sale price worked out to around 2,800,000 Yen per square meter for the land, or around 2,480 USD/sq.ft at the time. Kanden also acquired the Karasuma Church property.
The Kyoto Shimbun, April 20, 2019.
The Kyoto Shimbun, March 28, 2018.