The winners of this year's Leaf Awards have been announced. The annual awards seek to recognize innovative architectural design across a variety of categories. The overall winner was is Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co. for its Ribbon Chapel project.
The Ribbon Chapel is in stark contrast to last year's overall winner. Sydney's One Central Park residential complex is dripping with greenery and sustainable technology, not to mention that it sports a dramatic 110-tonne (121-ton) heliostat.
The Ribbon Chapel, however, comprises two spiral staircases that begin at separate points and slowly wind upward to join in an observation platform at the top of the building. It is located in the picturesque grounds of a hotel overlooking the Inland Sea of Japan. The joining of the staircases is symbolic of marriage.
The inside of the chapel reaches right up to the observation deck, giving a sense of grandeur. In addition, the building is wrapped in large expanses of glazing so as to fill the chapel with natural light.
Once a wedding ceremony has taken place, the bride and groom can ascend the staircases and meet at the top. From here they can have a moment together as they overlook the beautiful surrounding scenery of the water and the islands. Guests, meanwhile, can look on from the gardens.
The Ribbon Chapel was entered in the Hospitality Building of the Year category of the Leaf Awards, where it also won the overall award. There were 15 categories in total, the winners of which can all be viewed on the Leaf Awards website.
The winners were announced at an event in London, UK, on Oct. 16th.