YEASTY // Design 6 (M2) Centre for Buddhist Art and Culture [CBAC] - project, National University of Singapore, Singapore 2013

The assignment for this project was to design a centre for Buddhist Art and Culture, located east of the Singapore River in the Geylang area, on behalf of ‘The Singapore Buddhist Lodge’. The centre’s purpose is to educate the Buddhist communities. However, its larger ambit is the public cultivation of tolerance, called the “religious experience”.

The focus of my design is to separate the three main components (public functions, research functions and exhibition gallery). By pulling the building up from the earth, exposing the columns, the design exhibits the different phases in Buddhism and the journey towards Enlightenment.
The same concept is also visible in the routing throughout the building. People need to go down two levels and gather in the darkness of the basement, where public functions are located. They continue their way through the main gallery, slowly circling upwards. On the upper two levels they can research Buddhism and study how they can finish their path towards Nirvana.
The site is located in between an industrial and a residential zone. The placing of the wall, supporting the upper two levels, is influenced by these two zones. The wall is placed diagonally to hide the heavy industrial blocks behind it, creating a more open and livable area for the community. The shape of the upper two levels originates from the main axis line of sight (Sims Avenue).