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Seiichi Shirai and Cologne Cathedral

Text, Photo: Yurika Kono (Photographer)


A stopover at Cologne Cathedral, which Shirai Seiichi used to visit frequently when he was studying in Berlin in his 20s. It was an extremely cold winter a few years ago.

As you enter the space, what you see are shades of light on the curved surfaces of the geometric ceiling. When you look at the pillars floating in the dimly lit space, they look like human skin and are enchanting. It was a quiet, unfathomable experience as if all the worshippers and tourists were embraced by something greater.

I feel a similar ecstasy today when I observe the architecture of Shirai. A sense of unity that blurs the boundaries between land, life and body. I am tempted to think of Shirai’s idea of including Gothic and Greek columns and curves in people’s living spaces and public buildings.

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