The Chongming Island Ksitigarbha Temple Complex is located on a 180m x 80m site on Chongming Island, just to the north of Shanghai.
The client's brief asked for a design that would be a departure from the aesthetic of a traditional Chinese temple, and it was also requested that, as soon as each visitor steps through the gate of the complex, she will immediately be able to see the statue of Ksitigarbha that resides within the temple.
hch's vision for this temple is to create a structure that emanates the uplifting of the spirit and deep serenity of Buddhist practice.
The main temple building, 26 meters tall, is formed by four tensile membrane structures that appear as four flower petals opening to the endless sky above. As one looks upon the temple from the front gate of the complex across a long reflection pool, a 13-meter-high image the of the Bodhisattva's face looks out from the heart of the temple, his ever-serene visage gazing with infinite compassion upon the visitor.
For the devotee, the profound source of inspiration that radiates forth from the center of the temple is a reflection and a reminder of the inner light that is within each and every one. As such, it is intended that the experience of the temple serves to deepen the devotee's connection not only to the Bodhisattva but also to her own true self and, thus, her own inner radiance.
In addition to the temple itself, the complex includes dining facilities to serve up to 300 visitors at a time, accommodations for visiting devotees, living quarters for 60 nuns, and a memorial hall where prayer rituals for the deceased can be held.
A full presentation for this project can be downloaded here in EN | CH