Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Temple of the Golden Pavilion

By Phil Mevert

Design is always intended to be used for a particular purpose.  Usually when a designer has a project they are usually consulting with one or more people to devise a plan and explore the ideas, needs, and function of the design.  When designing a building, the function is usually based on the client’s desired use and attributes of the building they would like to have.  With good design this becomes a place the client feels comfortable in and can enjoy.  However, the design on serves it’s true purpose as long as the original owner stays there. Many times building are either sold or just merely passed on.  A great example of this is the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyto, Japan. 

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is one of the most celebrated buildings of Japanese Architecture.  The original building was designed to be a retirement home for the third shogun of the Ashikaga dynasty, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. The Golden Pavilion was converted to a Zen Buddhist Temple after the death of Yoshimitsu. The Golden Pavilion was originally built in 1398 in the then capital of Japan, Kyto. The building was able to survive through both a civil war and World War II without damage. In 1950 however a deranged student monk burnt the pavilion down. In 1955 the Pavilion was rebuilt to replicate the original building. The newer pavilion only differs in the amount of Gold on it, the newer one has a bit more gold. One of the unique things about the building is the connection and integration with nature.  The way the building was designed was to give the illusion of floating on the water and surrounded by nature. However, the building is connected to land on two sides. The placement of the building with the pond in front of it, known as the reflection pond, gives the building an added beauty.  Looking at the picture it is easy to see how the building was originally designed to be a retirement home. Retirement is supposed to be a time of peace and joy after an accomplished life of working.  The effects of water and nature are both believed and now known to provide a feeling of peacefulness.  The Buddhist religion has a great focus on meditation and inner peace. It is easy to see why this building became a Buddhist temple being as how it was design to provide a peaceful setting. Be on the lookout for future blogs related to as I am currently researching this particular building I will be sure to share more insight and information on the building and it unique characteristics. 

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