You don’t need to be a Zen master to appreciate this green-roofed Buddhist shrine in rural China. Designed by Arch Studio, the contemporary shrine is partially buried to minimize site disruption and to blend into the landscape. The building emphasizes connection with nature through its design and framed views of the woods and river beyond.
Located in the outskirts of Tangshan by the riverbank, the Buddhist shrine serves as a space for meditation and contemplation. The concrete building is mostly buried underground and is embedded between seven mature trees. The shrine’s various rooms splay out like branches from a large central space and include the entrance, meditation room, tea room, living room, and bathroom.
“The design started from the connection between the building and nature and adopts the method of earthing to hide the building under the earth mound while presenting the divine temperament of nature with flowing interior space,” said Arch Studio. “A place with power of perception where trees, water, Buddha and human coexist is thus created.”
The concrete surfaces are textured with the natural grain patterns from the pine formwork. Furnishings are constructed from gray-toned timber to match the concrete walls while the smooth terrazzo interior flooring contrasts with the outdoor white gravel. Skylights and large windows let in natural light and framed views. Courtyards with trees and bamboo punctuate the building.