Buddhist Temple

The International Buddhist Association commissioned Ron Seeto to design a temple complex on a 4ha site, 26kms south of Downtown Auckland. It is to be multi functional, serving as a place of worship and as an educational and cultural centre. This is a branch temple of Fo Kuang Shan which literally means Buddha Light Mountain. Fo Kuang Shan was established in Taiwan in 1965 by the founding Master Venerable Hsing Yun which has now over 100 branch temples around the world.
We were interested with the Client's agreement to create an authentic architecture of the Chinese Sung period....a period when construction was more utilitarian, honest and colours were muted.
The Main Temple complex is designed in accordance with the implicit geometry of this time. The overall plan of the temple structures is controlled by a strong geometry which originates from the roof. In contrast to Western architectural principles, traditional Chinese building design starts from the roof plan downwards, ie function follows form.The Temple complex is divided into 4 areas:
  • Courtyard building, main shrine building
    • External area including a 30 room pilgrims retreat, landscape garden, basketball/tennis courts, carpark for 200 cars and main gate
    • The courtyard building contains dining rooms, commercial kitchen, laundry, meeting rooms, classrooms, library, mediation rooms, conference facility, offices and reception entry hall.
    A central courtyard provides access to the Main Shrine from the adjacent Courtyard Building. The Main Shrine building can accommodate 600 devotees. This spectacular Hall holds large statues of Buddha and is 7m high from floor to ceiling. The Temple buildings occupy 9000m2.
    While the Temple maintains the traditional architectural characteristics of ancient Chinese palaces it incorporates very modern facilities. The design of the complex aims to bring joy and harmony for everyone who comes into contact with it. "From each grain of sand an ornate mansion is built." Master Hsing Yun.
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