A Practitioner¡¯s Thoughts ¨C the Building Concepts of Fo Guang Shan South Island
Buddha¡¯s impressions from the grottos depicting Dharma
Rough walls reflecting greenery
With the four postures in the Saha Realm
Cultivation and recreation are between laughter and chats
The building is the language representing local culture and thoughts, illustrating contemporary arts. It is also the Dharma, reflecting a practitioner¡¯s wisdom and thoughts, illustrating a bodhisattva¡¯s compassion.
The original concept of Fo Guang Shan South Island was inspired from carvings of Buddha and Bodhisattvas in the Long-men Grottos. It is hoped that the spirit of Humanistic Buddhism will be able to be reflect through the carvings from these grottos and that the building will be an example of multicultural exchange with Eastern arts blending into a Western building in Christchurch. Therefore the grottos on the external walls, together with the contemporary bronze carvings of the bodhisattvas are all part of a very distinctive design concept for the building.
In addition, Fo Guang Shan South Island is a Green Building. It is one which respects life and cherishes resources. Using rough stones and simple walls, the building tells us of a practitioner¡¯s thoughts. Using wood and water, it directly reflects the mind of a practitioner. The more natural the raw material, the closer the building is to the heart.
It is said that this building is the shrine for arts, beliefs, lifestyle and knowledge. It is also Fo Guang Shan¡¯s priceless gift to the local society, and even more so, it is the Pureland for current and future generations.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on 30 July 2005. Co-designed by Warren & Mahoney and Ban Mu Tang Environment Integration, constructed by Fletcher Construction. Construction work commenced in February 2006 and was completed in December of the same year.
Warren & Mahoney used the concept of ¡°Building Stemming from A Practitioner¡¯s Thoughts¡± for Fo Guang Shan South Island to enter into the ¡°New Zealand Canterbury Architectural Awards¡±. All judges unanimously decided to enter the building into the ¡°New Zealand Institute of Architects Award¡±. On 10 April 2007, it was announced that the building was one of the 10 winners in the NZIA Award.
The opening ceremony of the temple is presided by the founder of Fo Guang Shan Venerable Master Hsing Yun on 3 October 2007.