Protective Temporary Roof for Kiyomizu-dera Temple's ReroofingFirst Renovation in Half a Century Under Way
Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, has been undergoing "Great Repairs in the Heisei Period." Full-fledged replacement of the cypress bark roof of the main hall, a National Treasure, has started this month. For the first time in half a century, the entire roof will be renewed. Assembly of the scaffolding and temporary roof to protect the building during the renovation began on February 6.
Since fiscal 2008, the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education has been proceeding with renovation projects on a total of nine buildings, including the main hall, "Okuno-in" hall, an Important Cultural Property, and others, at a total construction cost of four billion yen.
The main hall was reconstructed in 1633, during the Edo Period. The last time it was reroofed was from 1964 to 1967. The area of the roof is extensive, approximately 2,050 square meters, so cypress bark has been set aside since fiscal 2009. Construction work is expected to continue until March, 2020.
The protective scaffolding and temporary roof will be about 48 meters wide and 42 meters deep, with completion scheduled by June this year. Only the roof portion of the main hall will be covered by steel plate roofing and sheets so that the fantastic view from "Kiyomizu no Butai," or the temple's terrace, can be ensured even during the renovation.
Konin Mori, the temple's legal and executive director who was also involved in the previous renovation, said, "We do not know how many decades it will be until the next time. We would like to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce wisdom and technology for repairing traditional architecture, envisaging 100 years in the future." He mentioned that, in consultation with the Cultural Properties Division of the Prefectural Board of Education, which is in charge of the renovation, the temple will consider opening the renovation site to the public from November 1 to 7, the week when protection of cultural properties is emphasized every year.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)