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Komyo-Ji Pure Land Temple

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

My brief was to reconstruct this 250 year old pure land temple of the Edo period in the city of Saijo, the gateway to Mount Ishizuchi,  known for its mild climate and abundant natural springs. The temple was in such disrepair it had to be rebuilt, along with the adjoining guest hall and priests’ quarters. Although restoration was a monumental undertaking, destined to be passed down to future generations, the temple’s chief priest had no specific requirements regarding the architecture. He simply noted that the temple “should be a place where people can come together; a temple open to the community”.
As a “place where people can come together”, our new temple appears to float on the water like a mirage, shrouded in gentle light. The main building, guest hall, chapel, priests’ quarters and other ancillary structures “hover” over a spring-fed pond, echoing the two essential features...

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