“The heart is like a painter, who can paint the world” – The fourth article of “Hua Yan Sutra”
The world has its own appearance, but it is different in everyone’s mind.
Dahe Temple, also known as Dahe nunnery, was built in the Ming Dynasty. It is located on a gentle slope with an altitude of more than 800 meters，which is in the valley west of Dahe Village, Dachi Town, Xinluo District, Longyan City, Fujian Province. There is only one spiral road along the valley to enter the temple, surrounded by lush bamboos and gurgling water. At the end of the valley, the temple suddenly become bright open，behind which is the main peak of Mount Hammerhead. Surrounded by the green hills, the temple is quiet and deep.
A bird’s-eye view of the Buddhist temple © 胡文杰
▼鸟瞰禅修中心，bird’s eye view of meditation center © 胡文杰
There are fewer and fewer local traditional folk houses and temple buildings
The original temple building has passed away while the existing temple houses was renovated in the 1990s, covering about 300 square meters and including the gate tower, Hall of Ceremony, temple hall, kitchen and several storage rooms. Provided village,there are basically Hakka Ancestral Halls. The temple is located in the countryside of the Hakka area. Therefore, it is also Quadrangle form similar to the local Clan, Ancestral Hall. Compared with the traditional large temples, it has a small charm. With the changes of the times, The number of this kind of temple is gradually decreasing.
▼结庐在人境，而无车马喧。从地藏菩萨像望雾中的禅修中心 © 王善祥
Housing in the human environment, and there is no chariot.
Looking at the meditation center in the mist from the statue of Jizo
The cicadas noising, the forest more quietly;the birds singing,
the mountain is more secluded. Meditation Center in the Mist © 王善祥
As more and more people want to come to Dahe Temple to learn Buddhism and experience meditation, the original small temples became increasingly unacceptable, so the Abbot mage had to expand it so that at least four to fifty students could meditate at the same time.
▼总平面图，General layout © 善祥建筑
禅修中心 | Meditation Center
This design of expansion mainly has three sub-items:
The first one is to build a new meditation center, including meditation halls, classrooms, student dormitories, tea rooms, etc., to provide a learning and resting space for believers who come to meditation,which is ,this time, the most important design as well as one of the largest venues.
Facade of Meditation Center © 胡文杰
The hillside steps in front of Meditation Center © 胡文杰
Front Platform of Meditation Center © 胡文杰
Gate of Meditation Center Gate © 胡文杰
The whole adopts a traditional courtyard layout, using a brick-concrete structure and a traditional bucket-type wooden roof truss, which was built by the village constructors. Some villagers donated two 11-meter-long wooden beams, which were originally reserved for their children to build new houses. However, the traditional wooden structures are basically no longer used in the construction of concrete houses in rural areas,so they are rightly used as roof trusses in the largest Zen hall.
The middle courtyard of the meditation center © 胡文杰
The winding corridor of the meditation center © 胡文杰
The meditation hall is one of the most important courses in the practice of Buddhism. It is a venue full of Tall, broad, solemn and quiet for meditation. Masters and lay practitioners practice meditation and concentration here every day and sometimes they also do homework such as copying scriptures and offering lamps. In addition, there are certain believers who donated a large rosewood slab measuring 6.5 meters long plus 1 meter wide, which happened to be used as a tea table in the tea room.
Zen Hall,The main building of Meditation Center © 胡文杰
Two wooden beams nearly 11 meters in length prop up the interior of the meditation hall © 胡文杰
The wooden frame of the tea room is purchased from the old building materials market, with different from deep and light,the old and new, with a unique charm.In addition to drinking tea and chatting, the tea room is also a place for people to recite passages from scriptures and discuss Buddhism. The meditation center only uses modern methods in the details of the pool ，the doors and windows of the meditation hall.
A tea room shaded by a bamboo forest © 王善祥
▼茶室，Tea room © 胡文杰
▼茶室窗外，Outside of the window of tea room © 胡文杰
▼茶室内部，Interior of the tea room © 胡文杰
闭关室 | Retreat room
The second is to build a retreat yard, including a small Buddhist hall and four retreat rooms, which can be used by four deep meditators to retreat. The inner courtyard can be used for walking meditation and Tai Chi exercises. The layout of the small courtyard is adapted to local conditions，the door of which is entered from the side. The roof material of the gate tower is made of wood structure and weather-resistant steel plate, which is different from the gate towers of the meditation center and the old temple. (Retreat means that the practitioner lives alone, meditates on the Dharma, does not associate with anyone, and goes out only after a certain period of time).
The retreat room and the meditation center as a whole refer to the form and scale of the traditional Hakka dwellings in Longyan.
looking down from above of the retreat room © 胡文杰
▼闭关室远望，Distant view of the retreat room © 胡文杰
▼闭关室院外，Outside the retreat room © 胡文杰
▼闭关室院门，Retreat room courtyard door © 胡文杰
Walking meditation and exercising can be done in the retreat room © 胡文杰
▼院内水池，Pool in the retreat room © 胡文杰
▼闭关室小佛堂，Retreat Room Small Buddha Hall © 胡文杰
▼闭关室夜晚，Retreat room night © 王善祥
老寺庙 | Old temple
The third is to renovate the original old temple. The terrain of the temple is low, and the exterior color is mainly dark red and somewhat dark. This time, the outer wall is redesigned with warm white, whose color is brighter, and the courtyards are more coordinated with each other. Many local details such as the courtyard, interior, doors and windows, cornices, etc. have been adjusted and optimized to make them more pure and elegant.
▼老寺庙远望，Distant view of the old temple © 胡文杰
▼老寺庙院门， Gate of the old temple © 胡文杰
Interior of the renovated old temple courtyard © 胡文杰
In addition, the paths connecting the courtyards and the surrounding landscape have also been planned. Of course, the biggest feature of the landscape is the integration and borrowing of the surrounding green waters and mountains.
▼曲径通幽处，禅房花木深 © 王善祥
The winding path leads to a quiet place, the buddhist room is deep in flowers and trees
I entered this ancient temple early in the morning, and the rising sun shone on the mountains and forests.
The winding path leads to the deep, and the Buddhist temple is hidden among the luxuriant flowers and trees.
The bright scenery in the mountains makes the birds more joyous, the lake is clear and clear, and the shadows in the lake are all fascinating.
At this moment, everything is silent and silent, leaving only the sound of bells and chimes.
At the beginning of the design, the designer thought of the poem “reveal the meditation house behind the mountain temple” written by Chang Jian, a poet in the Tang Dynasty, and hoped that ,with the passage of time, there will increasingly be the artistic conception described in the ancient poems after completion.
Natural landscapes are originally paintings, and the designer adds nothing more than a little bit of embellishment in the landscape. Some locals said that Longyan is a mountainous area, and there are such mountains everywhere. I didn’t think it was any strange here before. Now, after the temple was built, it was discovered that the scenery here turned out to be so beautiful. In fact, it should only be that the architecture has activated many people’s perception of the landscape, making many local people start to re-recognize the local landscape.
▼禅修中心院门，Gate of Meditation Center © 胡文杰
Seeing the cloud spreading in front of the meditation center © 胡文杰
▼万籁此俱寂，但余钟磬音 © 王善祥
The surrounding environment is very quiet, only a melodious bell is floating
The winding corridor of the meditation center © 胡文杰
“Neither birth nor death, neither dirt nor clean, nor increase nor decrease” -“Heart Sutra”
Must the temple be resplendent and magnificent? Must people worship luxury to have faith? Doesn’t it contradict the Buddha’s original teaching? Can’t temple architecture learn from folk houses? Isn’t a house called temple without Cornices, brackets and carved dragons and phoenixes ? If a temple is concise and simple, and cost-saving, is it more in line with the Buddhist desire for restraint and the modern concept of environmental protection If a temple is concise and simple, and cost-saving? The present is an era of rich or even surplus materials, and,at the same time, people’s extreme greed for money. It is also an era of overwhelming images. Excessively chasing temple construction is not necessarily so for a good thing. It is easy to lead the masses toward material worship and ignore the true meaning of Buddhism.
▼禅修中心的留白，blank-leaving in the meditation center © 胡文杰
▼禅修中心的角落，Corner of the Meditation Center © 胡文杰
Regarding nature,not only can it refer to the entire universe, but it can refer to the countryside,mountains and waters outside the city as well. At the same time, nature is also an attitude of people to get along with the world. If you build a house in the nature of the mountain and water environment, you will lose points if you build it poorly. Not only will it destroy the beauty of the landscape, but you will also feel that the house is redundant. If it is built well, it will add points to nature, and it will also feel that the house should be there, just like the poem written by the Zen master，Fudashi, of the Liang Dynasty in the Southern Dynasties:
There is a kind of “thing” that is true as nature, it precedes the heaven and the earth, and there is it when there is no heaven and the earth. Its authenticity has no form and is everywhere. The Ten Dharma Realm is sacred and majestic because it manifests itself, so it is the “master of all illusions.” All illusions will change, but it will not change with time.
Eaves of the Meditation Center © 胡文杰
Pool of Meditation Center © 王善祥
Since it is to be built, one should exert every effort to add points to the landscape. Before the design, I learned that some construction workers in the local village might not understand modern drawings, so the design adopted “low skill” as the main strategy, instead of pursuing exquisiteness and magnificence, trying to maintain a certain degree of extensiveness and simplicity as well as some parts can also be made by the workers . This is also like Chinese freehand landscape painting, which creates an artistic conception but does not pursue refinement. The materials used in the meditation center and the retreat rooms show the original colors and textures as much as possible, basically not carved. During the construction, some old bricks and wood materials collected by master were used. There are also some flowers, dead wood, and stubborn stones inside and outside the courtyards as an embellishment, which adds traces of withering and glory of years and agility.
▼景观小品，Landscape features © 胡文杰
The moss is wet after the rain. Details of the meditation center © 王善祥
Moisturizing things silently. Details of the meditation center © 王善祥
▼禅修中心门前的台阶，Steps in front of Meditation Center © 胡文杰
“Craving the taste of Zen is the bondage of the Bodhisattva, and to facilitate life is the solution of the Bodhisattva.” – “Vimalakirti Sutra” Manjusri’s Questioning Product No. 5
The predecessor of the Chinese Buddhist temple building was the office venue of the official institution “Temple” in the Han Dynasty. After the first as the Baima Temple in Luoyang in the Han Dynasty, the “Temple” gradually evolved into a venue for Buddhist activities. Gradually develop. Today, Chinese Buddhist architectural thinking has been very solidified. The architecture of Buddhist temples is stagnant in the mortar that simulates the palace of the palace and the flying eaves. It is seriously out of touch with the times. If there is a slight breakthrough, it will often be regarded as “unorthodox.” Incorrect”, the greed for the so-called “quaint” has become a kind of self-restraint.
▼修缮后的老寺庙，the old temple after renovation © 胡文杰
▼由凉亭望向老寺庙，Looking at the old temple from the pavilion © 王善祥
Longyan area is an important town of Hakka culture in China, especially the earth buildings in Yongding County and Nanjing County near Zhangzhou are world-famous. However, apart from large earth buildings, the most leftovers are in fact ordinary rammed earth dwellings, but few people still live in them. Most of the houses are vacant and damaged. According to the textual research of Hakka culture and history, this kind of house mainly inherits the tradition of Central Plains dwellings since the end of Han Dynasty. It mainly forms the atmosphere and simplicity of the basic functions of sheltering from wind and rain. It is also the main feature of Han and Tang architecture.The newly built meditation center and the retreat rooms are based on these traditional characteristics of the local Hakka dwellings, and make people feel ordinary, instead of learning from the traditional features of carving dragons and phoenixes in Ming and Qing temples.
▼闭关室参考了当地客家民居的传统特点 © 胡文杰
the retreat rooms are based on these traditional characteristics of the local Hakka dwellings
▼闭关室院门的圆窗洞 © 胡文杰
The round window hole of the courtyard door of the retreat room
Square and round door and window holes © 胡文杰
“Why saying that Bodhisattvas use unique and best methods?” -“Vimalakirti”, the ninth item of the indulgence method
When talking about Buddhism, many people often think of the word “let down”. In fact, we cannot pick up everything, nor can we let go of everything. From the beginning to the end of the project, what should be taken, what should be released, and the Master has always maintained a very tacit communication. The design is not deliberately classical, nor deliberately modern; if you don’t deliberately go ahead, you don’t have to be backward; don’t force or give up on the result of your imagination. Finally, a temple space suitable for the present and local area was built.
▼凌晨的禅修中心，meditation center in the small hours © 胡文杰
The architectural space and the surrounding environment are integrated with each other through large glass windows. However, if the space is closed and does not open the view to the environment, can it not be integrated with each other? For example, meditation is another way of communicating with the world. Cross-legged, closed eyes, and quietness are not about no longer communicating with the world. The three courtyards are all traditional inward-looking spaces, which are closed to the outside, which is conducive to the practice of homework. Therefore, there is no need to communicate with the outside in a way that opens up the view to the outside like modern buildings.
▼教室院，Classroom courtyard © 胡文杰
▼教室院细部，Details of classroom courtyard © 王善祥
▼女众院，Female Buddhists’ houses © 胡文杰
▼男众院，Male Buddhists’ houses © 胡文杰
Looking at the old temple and distant mountains from the male dormitory © 胡文杰
“If removing the three poisons forever, always purifying the six roots, energizing in body and mind, and cleaning inside and out, it is the real master. (temple)” – “Dharma Breaking Phase Theory”
Religion and practice are actually two things. Religion is a matter of entering the world, and practice is a matter of being born out of the world. However, it is difficult to separate the two, and they can only be carried out with the help of our physical body and the material world. Buddhism is a way to teach people to understand the world and themselves. After they have the most true understanding of the world and themselves, they can adjust their behavior and face the world and life in a better state. Buddhism including architecture Art is an auxiliary tool to help people understand the world and themselves. Artistic beauty is just a means and not a non-final goal of practice. The main motivation of the construction of the temple is to help those who come to learn Buddhism to have a better place for practice. Through the beauty of art, it will firstly calm people’s body and mind, and then further gain a higher physical and mental state.
▼教室内供灯，Lights in the classroom © 胡文杰
The gate of the meditation center at night © 王善祥
The light rain fell like the breaking beads;the mountain temple was dark in the twilight；The sound of babbling startled the dream of birds;the meditation hall was closing lightly. -Li Jianxiang (painter, now living in Zibo, Shandong) © 胡文杰
▼禅修中心的星空，The starry sky of the meditation center © 胡文杰
“凡所有相，皆是虚妄，若见诸相非相即见如来” ——《金刚经》第五品 如理实见分
“All the sights in the world are false. Provided that seeing all the scenery is not scenery,you must seen Buddha.” – The fifth article of “Diamond Sutra”
▼禅修中心设计草图，Sketch of meditation center © 善祥建筑
▼闭关院设计草图，Retreat yard sketch © 善祥建筑
▼禅修中心总平面图，General layout of meditation center © 善祥建筑
▼闭关院总平面图，General layout of retreat yard © 善祥建筑
▼禅堂立面图，Meditation hall elevation © 善祥建筑
▼禅堂剖面图，Meditation hall section © 善祥建筑
Zen’ scenery poetry in the landscape
Project Name: Expansion and design of Dahe Temple in Longyan, Fujian
Location: West of Dahe Village, Dachi Town, Xinluo District, Longyan City, Fujian Province
Design content: architecture, interior, landscape
Total area: about 5000 square meters
Building area: Newly built Meditation Center 910 ㎡, newly built Meditation room 95㎡, old temple renovated about 300㎡.
Design unit: Shanghai Shanxiang Architectural Design Company
Design: Wang Shanxiang Design Team: Li Zhe, Gong Shuangyan, Wang Shanhui
The structure of the meditation center and the closed room: brick-concrete (concrete beams and columns, brick walls, traditional bucket-type wooden roof trusses)
Main materials: concrete, clay bricks, fir, traditional paper-reinforced ash, old blue bricks, cement mortar, terracotta, stone
Photography: Hu Wenjie/www.pdoing.com (a few of which are Wang Shanxiang)
Design time: since 2015 construction time: 2016~2021