Submitted by Chaolee Kuo

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Taiwan Architecture News - Apr 20, 2020 - 17:38   11836 views

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Taiwanese architect Kris Yao has released a new design of religious space for Dharma Drum Mountain-Nung Chan Monastery near Taipei, Taiwan

The project is described as "a successful semiotic space can provide continuous contemplation for people."

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Sketch. Image © Kris Yao


Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery


Site Section. Image © Artech

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Ground Floor Plan. Image © Artech


When asked of what his vision for the future temple would be, Master Sheng Yen, the founder of the Monastery and Dharma Drum Buddhist Group, answered that he "sees" the temple in his meditation dhyana, "It is a Flower in Space, Moon in Water," he said. "Let’s name it the Water-Moon Monastery”.

Thus began the design idea of Water-Moon Monastery. Situated on the vast Guandu plain, facing the Keelung River and with the Datun Mountain as its backdrop, the design takes advantage of its natural surroundings and strives to build a tranquil spiritual place.

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

 

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

After passing through two walls of different heights that serve as buffer from the expressway outside, upon entering the temple, visitors face the view of the shrine that sits at the far end of an 80-meter long lotus pond. 

The reflections on the pond of the over-sized colonnades and the flowing golden drapes in between create a scene of illusory quality. Using architectural concrete as the main material, the design reduces the color and form to a minimum, conveying the spirit of Zen Buddhism. The lower part of the shrine is transparent, giving it an impression of its upper wooden “box” being suspended in the air.

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

On the west side of the shrine, a massive wooden wall is carved with the famous "Heart Sutra" in Chinese characters. As the lights shine through the carved-out characters, the space is infused with an aura of culture and spirituality. 

Outside the long corridor, the characters of the "Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra" are cast void on the prefabricated GRC panels, providing additional religious meaning while functioning as sunshades. When the scripture is imprinted onto the interior surface by the sunlight, it is as if the Buddha’s teaching, in an unspoken manner, is revealed.

Kris Yao & ARTECH Unveils A Floating Meditation Place-Water Moon Monastery

Image © Jeffrey Cheng

Project facts

Project name: Water-Moon Monastery

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Design year: 2006

Complete year: 2012

Architect: Kris Yao and Artech

Project team

Project principle: Hua-Yi Chang

Design development: Kuo-Lung Lee, Yvonne Lee, Wen-Li Liu, Jen-Ying Kuo, Chin Tai

Construction inspection: Yi-Heng Lin, David Chang

Project inspection supervisor: Jun-Ren Chou

General contractor: Fu-Chu General Contractor Co., Ltd.

All images © Jeffrey Cheng, courtesy of Artech

All drawings © Kris Yao & Artech

> via Kris Yao & ARTECH