MPI Design LLC. - Hsichih Mazu Temple: a religious architecture for the future
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Hsichih Mazu Temple: a religious architecture for the future

MPI Design LLC.

Public Space  /  Future
MPI Design LLC.
Mazu is a goddess of the sea who protects the safe voyage of sailors in the Taoism faith of East Asia. Hsichich Mazu Temple is located at the junction of the ocean and river on the northern coast of Taiwan and was first worshipped by the faithful in 1847. After two dynasties and moves, and two floods that damaged the temple in its current location, the decision was made to rebuild the temple. But all did not go smoothly, and the break with tradition was controversial. Finally a team of architects was decided upon under the direction of Mazu, and a modern design direction was established. The design of the new Mazu house is unique in its appearance, but still retains the traditional temple content.

The traditional temple architecture is predominantly developed in horizontal planning. This temple has a small base of only 843 m2, and there are neighbouring houses to the left and right. The design has taken the concept of vertical development from Gothic architecture and stretched to a height of 45 metres to create visual differentiation and dominance, as well as a sense of dignity and sacredness. Natural light is introduced into the structure to reduce the oppressiveness of the long, narrow building. A roof skylight is placed to bring in south sunlight at angle of 71.86, so that at 12 noon on Mazu's birthday, the sunlight will shine directly onto the altar to convey the sacred religious imagery.

The outer wall is specially designed with holes to lit up like a lantern at night. The wall against the river also has the face of Mazu, like a pointer to the sea. The architects have used the curved shape of the roof to express the goddess strength of Mazu. On the roof, a cantilevered observation deck, based on the concept of a boat, was designed to convey Mazu's intention to cross the sea and protect the sea and its people. In order to achieve the perfection of the curves, the glass roof is wrapped with metal from inside.

The emphasis in this project is on sustainable design, with the aim of making it a thousand year old monument and a pioneer temple design for the future. The temple is constructed in a columnar structure, with columns of 60cm thickness each to support the building, and nine rows of columns in total. The building is located in a rainy and humid city, so the exterior of the building is made of architectural concrete, while the rest of the building is made of steel, concrete and stone, which is not only durable, but also has a very good thermal insulation effect, allowing it to be warm in winter and cool in summer.

The building's minimalist form, which replaces the visible with the invisible, embraces the local environment, culture and life of the inhabitants with a religious architecture that combines the art of architecture and religious sanctuary to refine a new form of East Asian Taoism temple.


 New Taipei City
 843.1 mq
 Yullin Wang
 MPI Design LLC.
 MPI Design LLC.


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