Bentenshu Believers’ Assembly Hall

2017 -

This plan is for a new temple hall for believers of Bentenshu, a relatively new religious sect founded in 1952. The great hall, intended to accommodate 1,000 people, is contained in a building with a turtle-like form, which is elevated above the ground on pilotis built around five reinforced concrete cores equipped with seismic base-isolation mechanisms. The colossal pilotis acts as gateways warmly welcoming in parishioners, and are spaced widely with the temple’s future plan for a “sacred circle of 10,000 people” in mind. Behind the building the ground slopes gradually down to a garden, through which runs a road connecting to the pilgrimage route to mausoleums on the sacred Mt. Horai. Adaptation of the building to the terrain of the site resulted in a pentagonal roof shape reminiscent of the bellflower, which appears on the crest of the Bentenshu faith. The roof section of the building is divided into multiple segments, with a top intended to evoke a graceful range of mountains and to blend harmoniously into the rustic surrounding community. For the areas under the large eaves, I envision integrated use as an extension of the great hall. A series of internal and external foyers encircling the main hall, with its vast open-plan interior, maximizes flexibility of use.

location Gojo City, Nara
principal use Buddhist temple hall
completion date pending