PROJECTS

STUDIO

TEMPLE

 

THE STUDIO WAS APPROACHED TO DESIGN A BUDDHIST TEMPLE ON A MOUNTAINSIDE OVERLOOKING KAGOSHIMA IN SOUTHERN JAPAN. AS WELL AS A PLACE OF WORSHIP, IT WAS TO SERVE AS A DEPOSITORY FOR CREMATED REMAINS.?HAVING DEVELOPED A PROGRAMME AND SCHEMATIC MODEL OF HOW THE BUILDING WOULD WORK, THE STUDIO SEARCHED FOR AN APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL FORM, INITIALLY EXPERIMENTING WITH FORMS MODELLED IN CLAY. UNSATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS, THE TEAM FOCUSSED INSTEAD ON THE SPONTANEOUS FORMS THAT FABRIC MAKES AS IT FALLS ONTO A SURFACE ?– LIKE THE SILK ROBES OF THE BUDDHIST PRIESTS OR THE FOLDS OF CLOTH IN OLD MASTER PAINTINGS. A BUILDING THAT TOOK ITS FORM FROM A SINGLE PIECE OF FABRIC MIGHT BE ABLE TO UNIFY THE MANY FUNCTIONS OF A BUILDING AT THE SAME TIME AS CREATING SUFFICIENT ABSTRACT COMPLEXITY AND SOPHISTICATION TO MAKE THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENTS INTERESTING ENOUGH.?EXPERIMENTS WITH VARIOUS REAL FABRICS AND MATERIALS LED TO A THIN, RUBBERISED FOAM WHICH COULD FOLD, CREASE AND UNDULATE TO CREATE SPACES SUCH AS THE TEACHING ROOMS AND MONK’S CELLS AS WELL AS THE MAIN TEMPLE HALL. THE STUDIO ALLOWED A SINGLE SHEET OF FABRIC TO BE MANIPULATED INTO A FORM FOR THE ENTIRE TEMPLE AND, HAVING CAPTURED THIS AS A THREE-DIMENSIONAL COMPUTER LASER SCAN, TRANSLATED THIS COMPLEX SURFACE INTO A BUILDABLE FORM OF HORIZONTAL LAYERS THAT WERE EACH THE HEIGHT OF A STEP IN A STAIRCASE. THESE LAYERS ALSO FORMED THE INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE WITH STAIRCASES AND FURNITURE EXTENDING FROM THE WALLS AND GLAZING INSERTED BETWEEN TO FORM WINDOWS.

Client

Shingon-hu Buddhist Organisation

Location

Kagoshima, Japan

Appointment

2001

Project Leader

Kieran Gaffney

Studio team

Rachel Hain, Neil Hubbard, Stuart Wood

Collaborators

Karou Okamura, Trevor Laidler, Packman Lucas, Mawatari Kogyo K.K., Master Bros, Theo Theodorou, Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital

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