SAHELI MOTIANI   |  2019

BUDDHIST CONTEMPORARY TEMPLE

Site : Ban Yang Phra thaat, Thailand

This project was my final thesis project at Parsons and it was a travelling studio so the site was based in a small village outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The prompt for this project was to design a compound and after a 10 day workshop I became interested with the Temple grounds. 

The design of this contemporary interoperation of a Thai Buddhist temple is inspired by the Naga symbol. The Naga is a half serpent, half dragon creature that welcomes the people into the temple in the form of railings. I interpreted this idea by creating a multi use platform that allowed people to enter INTO the naga.

Buddhist temples have several cosmic rules tied to its architecture. Buddha always faces east and the entrance is always from the east side. The temple in this village is located on the east side of the village and tend to use the back entrance. The platform has been designed to encourage people to walk around and through the east entrance.

Temples are used for more than just religious purposes, especially in villages. The multi purpose platform and salas surrounding it allows the temple grounds to be used for events and social gathering space.