Jetavana Buddhist Temple / Studio GAON

Jetavana Buddhist Temple / Studio GAON

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Facade, WindowsJetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - WindowsJetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Stairs, FacadeJetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Facade+ 34

Chuncheon-si, South Korea
  • Architects: Studio GAON
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year :  2018
  • Photographs
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers :  VEKA, Hansol
  • Lead Architects : Hyoungnam Lim, Eunjoo Roh in studio_GAON
  • Site Area : 9,650 m²
  • Building Area : 1474.53 m²
  • Gross Floor Area : 1,718.46 m²
  • Building Scope : 7 Buildings, 2F, Height : 9.3m
  • Building To Land Ratio : 15.28%
  • Floor Area Ratio : 17.81%
  • Project Team : Sungpil Lee, Seongwon Son, ,joowon Moon, Laeyeon Kim, Minwoo Lee, Jaebeom Kim, Sora Yeom, Seunghwan Jung
  • City : Chuncheon-si
  • Country : South Korea
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Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Image 23 of 34
© Youngchae Park

Text description provided by the architects. Jetavana Buddhist temple is a house of the Buddha who has reached nirvana, and for the religious seeking to reach nirvana. Two years ago, a monk with a slender body and an intelligent look, came to our office. With very concise and neat remarks, he told us that he was planning to build a Buddhist temple for meditation.

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Windows
© Yongkwan Kim

Strictly speaking, I am not a Buddhist. But I think that the basic spirit of all religions have something in common. "Religion, although the goal maybe different, is the way to reach somewhere." In fact, Korean religious architecture, especially Buddhist architecture, reveals an excellent interpretation of such a path and a marvellous sense of space. It tells a very wise solution, where it takes a few twists and turns, or swings around, rather than a straight line, and where topography and religious doctrine naturally melt in architecture.

Site Plan
Elevation 02

As the design continued, I heard interesting tales of Buddhist stories from the Zen Master of Jetavana Buddhist temple. Most impressive story was the concept of 'Middle Way(Madhyamā-pratipad)', meaning "Pleasant from beginning to end". The concept was exciting. We live in strange obsession where living an idle, joyful life is considered like wasting time. Wouldn’t it be so liberating if someone tells you “You can just have fun in life”! That was the original teaching of Buddha, but over many years, many historical and local elements were added and the original spirit of Buddhism was severely damaged. The discussion sessions with the client was spent on listening to stories, not discussing the design.

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Image 18 of 34
© Yongkwan Kim

Jetavana is a Sanskrit, meaning "The Forest of Prince Zeta." Sudatta was busy looking for a land to build a temple for Buddha and eventually found the desired land. The land owner was Prince Zeta, and he said, “I will give you the land as much as you spread gold coins here." Sudatta then really began to lay gold coins on the land, and Prince Zeta was surprised and stopped him. Eventually Jetavana was built on this land, and it became the place that Sakyamuni stayed for the longest in his living years, naturally becoming a holy place.

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Windows, Stairs, Facade
© Yongkwan Kim
Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Facade
© Youngchae Park

In the course of design, I wanted to plan the temple for a modern lifestyle, embracing the old ways and Buddhist doctrines. Also, the head monk of Seon (Zen) Center was quite intent on returning to the original values of Buddhism. To restore the Buddhist basic spirit that Sakyamuni annotated and preached while sitting in Jetavana, this spirit was the biggest foundation for designing Jetavana Seon (Zen) Center.

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Image 25 of 34
© Yongkwan Kim

In that sense, a brick, which symbolizes the remains of Jetavana, was an obvious choice. Unlike most traditional Korean temples, it was not built as a hanok, but we built the frames with a concrete structure and put bricks on them. But, considering the existing layout of traditional temple buildings, the path going inward through Iljumun Gate was designed to swerve three times, and by using the original elevation of the site topography, three stages were formed so that Jongmuso(temple office), Kuti(where the believers spend a few days to meditate), Yosache(temple house), and Buddhist sanctuary were placed according to the hierarchical order. It was a very old yet very innovative approach.

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Facade, Windows
© Youngchae Park
Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Windows
© Youngchae Park

After a one-year design period, the construction begun. The space was completed with a total of 300,000 bricks used on building the frames, laying bricks outside, and spreading bricks on the floor. The construction also took a year. Thus, the space was completed, where the spirit of Middle Way “pleasant from beginning to end” pervades the house both indoors and out.

Jetavana Buddhist Temple  / Studio GAON - Brick, Column
© Yongkwan Kim

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Project location

Address:53, Witbagam-gil, Nam-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Jetavana Buddhist Temple / Studio GAON" 09 Apr 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/914480/jetavana-buddhist-temple-studio-gaon> ISSN 0719-8884

Courtesy of Studio GAON

Jetavana禅院,回归佛教原始精神/Studio GAON建筑事务所

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