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A room for Japanese Buddha

Tadao Ando has surrounded a giant statue of Buddha with a landscaped hill designed to draw attention to the 13.5 meter-tall sculpture. Ando’s brief was to highlight the scale of the figure. The new intervention encircles the sculpture, leaving only the top of its head visible from outside the hill. In order to see the rest of the buddha, visitors must navigate a 40 meter-long tunnel that leads to a round open hall that surrounds the statue.

The design intention was to create a vivid spatial sequence, beginning with the long approach through the tunnel in order to heighten anticipation of the statue, which is invisible from the outside,’ Tadao Ando explains. ‘When the hall is reached, visitors look up at the buddha, whose head is encircled by a halo of sky at the end of the tunnel.’

The statue in its original state as it was on the cemetery for 15 years.

Images: Shigeo Ogawa, Via Vitra. All copyrights: Tadao Ando Architect & Associates

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