The project is located in Yanqing, north of Beijing, under Yanshan Mountain. The main program consists of several parts: a Taoism temple, a Taoist monastery and education center.
The design is inspired by Taoist concept “Yi”, literally “one”, meaning integrity and unity of everything. The building is conceived as a monolithic mass with various introversive courtyards carved into it. The shape of courtyards is from the strokes of traditional Chinese character “TAO” and the composition is decided by a random result of strokes flowed in water. This form-making method is a response of Taoism philosophy: “Wuwei”, meaning go with the natural flow. While the external form is simply an extrusion of the site with its solid mass and spontaneous openings, the internal space is full of changes when one walks through it. This simplicity of external world and richness of internal world is important in Taoist practice.
The construction of building will use in-situ concrete for everything, so that it will look as a whole and create a very unique experience. The building uses solar panel system on roof and geo-thermal system underground for heating and cooling. The project is an attempt of making a religious building as a formal abstraction of Taoism philosophy, as a criticism of most contemporary Chinese religious architecture, which is copying traditional style in symbolic sense but without tectonic concern.
Location: Yanqing, Beijing, China
Program: Taoist temple, Monastery, Education center etc.
Architects: Trace Architecture Office (TAO)
Principal architect: HUA Li
Design team: HUA Li, Zhang Feng, Jiang Nan, He Song, Shi Qingyi, Yang Ran
Site area: 8000 sq. m.
Floor area: 12,000 sq. m.
Structural system: Cast-in-place concrete