The Luminary Buddhist is a modern urban Buddhist temple, with spaces for Buddhist ceremonies, teachings, gatherings, and residences for nuns. Since its completion in 1998, the center has become an archetype for new spiritual centers in Taiwan and draws many interested visitors with its unique architecture.
The center is located on a typical storefront lot (13.5 meters wide and 34 meters deep) with buildings surrounding its three sides. It is designed with an introspective focus to create a tranquil place for meditation. The project transforms the traditional horizontal courtyard sequence of a temple into a vertical one through a central atrium that provides natural light to the spaces within. Visitors explore the courtyard on multiple paths, just as one would explore a traditional temple. The shrine, unlike the traditional configuration, is located on the third floor. It can be seen directly from the street via the main entrance and courtyard.
Drawing inspiration from Buddhist philosophy, the design seeks to retreat from the surrounding urban chaos through a space conducive to introspection. The heavy, monolithic pebble stone façade blocks out urban distractions while the randomly placed glass-block openings imply the presence of a central courtyard within.