A Water Temple in Japan
In 1991 Japanese architect Tadao Ando designed Water Temple, a place where nature and contemporary architecture meet and complete each other. The temple is situated in the island of Awaji, Japan and is the residence of Ninnaji Shingon, the oldest sect of Tantric Buddhism in Japan.
The building, surrounded by a hilly landscape, consists of regular geometrical shapes that emphasize the purity and the sacredness of the place.
After passing the entrace, the visitor encounters a labyrinth of three meter high walls which seem to hide the heart of the temple. A last semi-ciruclar wall opens onto a large oval pond of water with lotus, which is the roof of the tempering. Here water dominates the landscape on the horizon and becomes a true experience in the body of the visitor. The reverberatory placid mirror of water also induces meditation and asceticism.
The large pond is divided in the middle by a staircase that plunges into the inner part of the temple. The material used for the stairs and the basin is concrete whose position was accurately curated by Ando to make it communicate with the water and the surrounding nature. The lake with lotus is a strong reference to tradition, and the descent seems to lead to a purification of the soul.