sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china

Atelier Deshaus builds contemporary temple in china

 

Within the valley of Jinshan Mountain in China, architecture firm Atelier Deshaus has built a contemporary temple for meditation and self-reflection. The building presents itself as a stone and concrete structure with a sculpturally curved roof that funnels light into the tranquil interior spaces. Scattered throughout the project are interior courtyards whose skylights reveal views of the sky. A stone cloister-like configuration surrounds the site, connecting the different levels of the structure and helping the project blend seamlessly into the topography.

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
Atelier Deshaus’ temple and surrounding cloister viewed from above | image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

 

 

‘Aranya’ meditation space and Buddhist ‘Hall of Omniscience’

 

The temple designed by Atelier Deshaus (find more here) complements the ancient Great Wall, which can be seen in the distance. A light meditation hall called ‘Aranya’ appears as a slender structure that defines the distance between the new building and the historic landmark. From the upper entrance courtyard to the lower open meditation hall, the cloister itself strives to create a balanced transition and homogeneous atmosphere throughout the project. Adjacent to the open meditation hall on the lower platform, the new upper cloister is built against the hillside, translating the landscape terrain, which is stepped by 1.6 meters, into the spatial form and scale of the building.

 

The entrance is arranged around an open stone courtyard, one side of which is a hall containing statues of Buddha. The open courtyard conveys the spatial atmosphere of a traditional corridor courtyard with the thin steel plates hanging inward and the thin steel columns attached to the concrete perimeter wall. The upward opening of the open courtyard provides a view of the sky. The horizontal opening facing the valley on the west side, on the other hand, frames the old Great Wall and a natural stone statue. The name of the Buddhist Hall is ‘Hall of Omniscience’, which means that one can free oneself from problems with the wisdom of universal knowledge.

 

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
the new upper cloister translates the landscape terrain into the spatial form and scale of the building | image by Su Shengliang

 

 

A COURTYARD WITH ‘ENDLESS MEANING’

 

The various interior gardens of different sizes within the upper cloister were designed by Shunmyō Masuno, who is both a landscape architect and a monk. The stone courtyard at the entrance consists of five differently shaped natural stones, which symbolize the five aggregates of attachment to Buddhist culture, namely ‘form, sensation, perception, activity, and consciousness’. The five stone peaks are divided into three groups, standing or lying, which is consistent with the idea that the sea is boundless and endless. This courtyard is named ‘Endless Meaning’. 

 

The meditation hall made of steel structure and carbon fiber roof at the foot of the mountain is a pictorial reconstruction of the Chinese character ‘舍’. ‘The character ‘舍’ is composed of three parts, ‘亼+屮+口’. ‘亼’ is the roof, ‘屮’ is the beam and column, and ‘口’ is the base.’ the architects at Atelier Deshaus explain.

 

Two rows of slender steel columns, both inside and outside, support the curved roof. The changing height of the square base adapts to the mountain terrain in scale, and the steel columns on the outer ring adjust their length accordingly. When one is inside the transparent meditation hall, the mountain pass becomes a real enclosure, and only the direction to the valley is open enough. Not far away, the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty is a fossil of time. All the arrangements are meant for this moment of tranquility.

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
the volumetry and materiality of the project help it blend seamlessly into the topography | image by Tian Fangfang

 

 

a place to find oneself

 

The meditation hall and its surrounding deep space called ‘Aranya’ is exactly the spatial representation of the concept of ‘a quiet place in the world, a place to find oneself’. The pond in front of the meditation hall reflects the mountains and the sky, adding to the tranquility of the whole. Whenever the sun sets or the fog rises, sitting facing the rising clouds brings peace to the mind.

 

A series of rooms form a sequence from top to bottom, including the Stone Courtyard (Endless Meaning), the Buddhist Hall (Omniscience Hall), the Meditation Room, the Reading Room, the Writing Room, and the Meditation Hall (Aranya). All are connected to the grounds, opening and closing inside and out, forming an orderly rhythm.

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
a lightweight meditation hall called ‘Aranya’ appears as a slender structure | image by Su Shengliang

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
the meditation hall is made of steel structure and carbon fiber roof | image by Tian Fangfang

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
the entrance is arranged around an open stone courtyard | image by Tian Fangfang

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
slender steel columns support the curved roof | image by Tian Fangfang

sculptural-carbon-fiber-roof-funnels-light-atelier-deshaus-meditation-hall-china-designboom-full-02

 image by Su Shengliang

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
horizontal openings frame the natural surroundings | image by Su Shengliang

sculptural-carbon-fiber-roof-funnels-light-atelier-deshaus-meditation-hall-china-designboom-full-01

scattered throughout the project are interior courtyards with large skylights | image by Su Shengliang

 

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
‘a quiet place in the world, a place to find oneself’ | image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
differently shaped natural stones adorn the meditation hall | image by Tian Fangfang

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
on one side of the entrance, there is a hall containing statues of Buddha | image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

sculptural-carbon-fiber-roof-funnels-light-atelier-deshaus-meditation-hall-china-designboom-full-04

image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

sculptural carbon fiber roof funnels light into atelier deshaus' meditation hall in china
the curved roof funnels light into the meditation hall | image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

 

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image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud
image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Su Shengliang
image by Su Shengliang
image by Su Shengliang
image by Su Shengliang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud
image by Jonathan Leijonhufvud
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang
image by Tian Fangfang

project info: 

 

name: Upper Cloister in Aranya, Golden Mountain
architects: Atelier Deshaus

design team: Liu Yichun, Shen Wen, Chan Hio Ngai, Wang Longhai, Gong Yu, Zhang Xiaoqi, Wang Yi, Sun Huizhong, Ji Hongliang, Zhang Zhun (structure), Zhang Chongchong (structure)

structure consultant: AND Office

structure and M&E: Beijing Yanhuang International Architecture&Engineering Co., Ltd

landscape consultant:  Shunmyo Masuno + Japan Landscape Consultants (courtyards and gardens), Turenscape (environment)

statue of Buddha: The Jiangs

lighting consultant: Zhongchenyuanzhan Lighting Design Co., Ltd,DLX Lighting Design

location: Laowa Village, Luanping, Chengde, Hebei Province, China

floor area: 615 sqm

client: Aranya Real Estate Development Co., Ltd

construction: Chengde County Hongsheng Construction & Installation Engineering Co., Ltd, Jimusi Sanjiang Architectural Engineering Co., Ltd

interior construction: Beijing Wandan Construction & Installation Engineering Co., Ltd.

garden construction: Changzhou Innovation Garden Engineering Co., Ltd.

intelligent construction and technical development (for the Zen Hall): RoboticPlus.AI

steel structure consultant: Shanghai Dexu Construction Development Co., Ltd

faux finish: Shanghai Yujia Construction Technology Co., Ltd.

carbon fiber consultant: Shandong Huaye Wind Power Equipment Co., Ltd

glass consultant: Shanghai Rilang Doors and Windows Co., Ltd / Shanghai Lanshi Glass Co., Ltd

stone consultant: Yiboyuan Sculpture Co. Ltd

ARCHITECTURE IN CHINA (1557)

ATELIER DESHAUS (12)

ROOFTOP ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (72)

TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (19)

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