Zen Buddhist temple by Waro KISHI
A contemporary space in a Zen Buddhist temple, with commentary by the architect, Waro KISHI
On occasions in which this Zen temple was to host very important ceremonies, the room was designed to be a waiting room for guests from the head temple during the ceremony and to be a study for the chief priest afterwards.
The client's wish was to turn the attic space, which is located on the top story of the reinforced concrete Japanese-style temple completed in 1988, and on the upper side of the main temple, into a modern contemporary space, yet also having a sense of tradition. As the adjoining flat roof was also possibly the subject for the renovation, turning the roof into a garden created a garden space that only can be viewed from the interior of the penthouse study. I decided that the garden should be the main feature of this space. Coming back to the room following a ceremony in the main hall, one encounters the landscape of "Buddhist Heaven" from the attic.
The interior design of this space corresponds to that of the main temple downstairs. As a comparison to the traditional architecture of the temple space which used "lines" mainly for the design in a traditional Japanese way, the principle here was to compose the space with "planes" with a modernist approach and yet to use authentic materials at the same time, as in the main temple. The water garden, the plasterwork on the walls and ceilings, the roughly-finished chestnut flooring in the Japanese tradition, the hanging black-rusted steel panel and the Venetian style stucco-coated ceiling panels, are selected with such an intention.
See more works by Waro KISHI at http://k-associates.com/
Photography by Hisao Suzuki