Located in Tangshan, Hebei, China, this is a place for Buddhist mediation, thinking and contemplation, as well as a place satisfying the needs of daily life. Designed by , the building is located in the forest by the riverside. The design addresses an intimate connection between the building and nature, adopting the method of hiding the building under ground while presenting the divine temperament of nature with flowing interior space. A place with power of perception where trees, water, Buddha and human coexist is thus created.

In order to retain trees along the river perfectly intact, the building plan avoids all trunks. Shape of the plan looks like branches extending under the existing forest. Five separate yet continuous spaces are created within the building by two axis. The five “branches” represent five spaces of different functions: entrance, Buddhist meditation room, tea room, living room and bathroom, which form a strolling-style experience together.

The entrance faces two trees; visitors need to walk into the building through a narrow path under the trees. The shrine is set against the wall and facing the water, where the light and the shadow of the trees trickle through the skylight and flow into the interior space softly along the curved wall. The tea room opens completely to the pool filled with lotus flowers and trees located on both sides, thereby become part of the courtyard. The lounge is separated from other parts of the building by a bamboo courtyard; such division enables daily life to vary with different hours of a day. The whole building is covered with earth and becomes an extension of the land, as another “mound” which could be used under the trees.

The relationship with nature further extends to the use of materials. Integral concreting is used in walls and the roof of the building. The concrete formwork is pieced together with pine strips of 30mm width; in this way natural wood grain and vertical linear texture are impressed on the interior surface, creating a soft and warm feeling to the cold concrete materials.

Smooth terrazzo is used for the interior floor, where there is thin grain of stone on the surface, and it maps the outdoor natural landscape into the interior space. Cement grouting with white pebbles is adopted in outdoor flooring, which creates a difference in sense of touch between indoor and outdoor floor. To reflect natural texture of the materials, solid wood is used for all doors and windows.

Zen stresses on complying with nature and being part of nature. This was also the goal of the design for this space—taking use of space, structure and material to stimulate human perception, thus helping man and building to find the charm of nature even in an ordinary rural landscape, and to coexist with nature.


Related Post: Beautiful Buildings Below The Ground.


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[Images courtesy of . Photography by Wang Ning & Jin Weiqi.]


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One Response

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    Elizabeth Schiavello

    A monochrome beauty! I love how this building sits so perfectly with it’s surrounds.


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