28 Jul '17, 1pm
Tadao Ando embeds open-air prayer hall around massive 15-year-old Buddha statue
Holding court on a large sloping hill surrounded by lavender fields, the stone statue is over 44-feet-tall and weighs 1,500 tons. For years it stood as a solitary figure in the field, but locals wanted to create a more harmonious atmosphere. Ando’s vision was to build a prayer hall around the figure without hiding it completely inside an artificial structure. The result is a respectful design of an open-air concrete prayer hall surrounding the Buddha that would leave the sculpture’s presence as it had been for years, but with a more purposeful setting better suited for visitors.