Shanghai Pudong Guoqing Temple by Shenzhen Multiarch Architectural Design and Consulting Co., Ltd.

Rongsu – A glimpse of a modern temple

Project Specs


来自 深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司 对gooood的分享。 
Appreciation towards Shenzhen Multiarch Architectural Design and Consulting for providing the following description.


The Guoqing Temple in Dontang Town, Pudong district of Shanghai is a Ming dynasty temple. The original site was the Yu Gong Temple commemorating Yu Dayou, a famous anti-invasion warrior in the Ming Dynasty. New design work was started six years ago, and the first phase of construction is basically completed!

▼视频,video ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司;视频编辑:许良润

▼主殿区正面鸟瞰实景 (未竣工),Facade of the main hall (under construction) ©曾天培


At the end of 2014, I received a call from a friend and invited me to design a proposal for this project! The temple is not big, there is a young Master, his Buddhist name is Yan Yin. Later, I told Master Yan Yin on the phone: “If you wish for a traditional temple, I am not suitable for it. If you want it to be a modern one, I am very interested!”. The Master responded: “I am looking forward to it!”. At that moment, I had a vague feeling that he is a good Master.

▼总平面图,Site plan ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司


I said to Master Yan Yin that the concept of “modern” has two levels of meaning, one is about the physical level such as its form, space, material, and the other is the conceptual level such as the ideal of publicity! In today’s China, temples are almost a place of burn incense and pray. The core functions of “Preach the View” and “Meditation” have declined; Buddhist architecture originally did not particularly care of axis symmetry, but Chinese Buddhism transplanted the pattern of this palace architecture into temples (“temple” used to refer to Yamun, government palace of feudal China), so now we have Yamun-style temples that are different from Tibetan, southern, and Japanese Buddhism. As for this project, can we design a temple that is more friendly and more interactive to the city? Can religious buildings find their spirituality? Can the process of people’s entry to this temple be shaped as a journey to understand Buddhism?

▼北侧鸟瞰实景(未竣工),Aerial view from the north side (under construction) ©曾天培


The temple is in the city and adjacent to a small urban green space. We communicated with the government and changed the direction of the temple to connect with the small green space, so the two sites were designed together to form an integrated public space which open for public all day. In this way, the temple has melted into the park. Collectively they were named Zen Garden of All Living Beings.

▼主殿区中庭实景(未竣工),The courtyard of the main hall (under construction) ©曾天培

设计能体现“自然与传统”的当代建筑是我和团队的理想,上海国庆寺项目提供了一个契机!设计通过建筑的开合处理、庭院尺度的控制,去除了装腔作势的形态,建筑平和朴素,空间松弛自然,让周边都市环抱之下的寺院呈现 “幽、隐、静、藏”!建筑用杉木模板的清水混凝土、竹钢、钛锌板等材料建造,用现代的语言塑造传统韵味和空间精神。演因师傅告诉我,因为这个设计,寺庙未建成已有了很多的居士,而且一半左右是八零九零后,不同于其他寺庙中老年居士的构成!

▼大雄宝殿室内实景(未竣工),Interior view of the Great Buddha’s Hall (under construction) ©曾天培

▼大雄宝殿室内回望实景(未竣工),View from the Great Buddha’s Hall (under construction) ©曾天培

Designing contemporary buildings that can embody “nature and tradition” has always been an ideal to our team. The Shanghai Guoqing Temple project provides an opportunity! With careful arrangement of the architectural fragmentation and combination, and strict control of the courtyard dimensions, our design removes the pretentious form, makes the building peaceful and simple, the space relaxed and natural. It successfully preserved the spirit of the temple: tranquility, peace, retreat, and isolation, expressed the spatial appeal of the Buddhism religion surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a modern city. Using fair-faced concrete, bamboo steel, titanium zinc plate and some other modern materials, we infused the language of the modern world into the building and space of traditional charm and spirit. Master Yan Yin told me while the temple is being built, it has already attracted many laymen, and about half of them were born after 1980s, which is much younger than the middle-aged and elderly laymen in other temples!

▼附殿室内实景(未竣工),The accessory hall (under construction) ©曾天培

▼观音殿局部实景(未竣工),Detailed view of the Guanyin Hall (under construction) ©曾天培

▼大雄宝殿室内效果图,The Great Buddha’s Hall (rendering) ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司



It has been six years since the project was designed, and only half of the construction works have been completed for various reasons. The garden landscape and interior have not yet in construction, but many objects have been temporarily displayed in the temple and it has entered a half-use state. I do not know how long this half-use state will last, but temple design is like a practice, testing the endurance and resilience of architects!

The two auxiliary buildings next to the main hall failed to bear the master’s obsession to expand the area and added to three floors in the end where they were originally designed to be two floors. Part of the bamboo steel grille was secretly replaced by aluminum alloy due to the supplier’s withdrawal. Many well-intentioned laymen continued to donate a variety of objects that did not match the architectural temperament, and some objects accidentally escaped the eyes of the architect and was placed into the temple;

▼主殿区北侧外观实景(未竣工),North facade of the main hall (under construction) ©曾天培

▼主殿区屋顶实景(未竣工),Rooftop view of the main hall (under construction) ©曾天培

▼主殿区屋顶局部实景(未竣工),Rooftop detailed view of the main hall (under construction) ©曾天培


As for the wooden template fair-faced concrete wall, although we provide the detailed construction method and requirements were discussed, but the construction unit ignored it at the beginning, and built it completely according to its own ideas, leaving a lot of flaws, which made people desperate for a while, but I still gritted my teeth and said to the Master: ” Come on, don’t fix it, leaving these flaws is more real and natural than artificial grease and powder”! The concrete work started from the main hall, and finally reached a high quality at the garden walls of the temple after repeated trial and error. The garden walls have unexpectedly become the most exquisite part of this temple!

▼主殿区窄庭实景(未竣工),The narrow courtyard of the main hall (under construction) ©曾天培

▼附楼外观实景(未竣工),The auxiliary building (under construction) ©曾天培

▼附楼外观实景(未竣工),The auxiliary building (under construction) ©曾天培


Master Yan Yin lives on the site and taking pictures of the construction site has become his daily routine. From photos he posted on WeChat moments, we could notice that he has been deeply in love with this design from the initial half-trust to the present’s satisfaction. One day not long ago, Master Yan Yin, the landscape architect, and I were sitting on the construction site to discuss the later stages. I suddenly felt that Master Yan Yin’s idea of space is more modern and radical than I! Recently, he gave these wooden-mold concrete walls a Zen-like name – Rongsu!

▼南侧鸟瞰实景(未竣工),Aerial view from the south side (under construction) ©曾天培

▼拱廊效果图,Arcade (rendering) ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

▼西门效果图:众生禅院,The West Gate: Zen Garden of All Living Beings (rendering)  ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

▼模型,models ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

▼首期地下室平面图,basement floor plan (phase 1) ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

▼首期一层平面图,ground floor plan (phase 1) ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

▼剖面图1,section 1 ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

▼剖面图2,section 2 ©深圳墨泰建筑设计与咨询有限公司

Project Name: Shanghai Pudong Guoqing Temple
Project Location: Dongtang Town, Pudong, Shanghai
Time of Design: 2014-2016
Time of Completion: First phase completed; All completion is expected in 2022
Design Unit: Shenzhen Multiarch Architectural Design and Consulting Co., Ltd.
Design Scope: whole-process design of architectural plan and construction drawing (including interior design)
Architect in Charge: Shen Chi
Architects: Wang Song, Feng Wenqing, Liu Weixia, Zhu Wei, Liu Yuyong, Wu Yucong, Yang Jing, Chen Jinger, Luo Qiong, Wang Chunyan, Ge Tiechang
Structural Engineer: Cen Huiyuan, Huang Mingxing, Chen Huiming , Gan Kai, Zhu Anan
Electrical Engineer: Sun Jianyou, Lu Zhendi, Li Feng, Pan Zhijian, Gao Yang
Water Supply and Drainage: Li He, Huang Jie, Wen Zhijun, Li Lingling, Zhang Zhihua
Heating and Ventilation: Peng Tianhui, Dai Xiaoshan, Zhang Zixing, Tang Lihua
Interior Designer: Ruan Bin, Tang Yunshan, Hu Junbo, Cheng Xiang, Huang Libo
Photographer: Zeng Tianpei
Author: Shen Chi
Video Editing: Xu Liangrun
Video Material Provided by: MULTI ARCH, Zheng Tianpei, Shenzhen TV , Phoenix TV, IAM Social Media


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