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Thursday31 July 2014

London architect to masterplan Chinese meditation park

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Work will take place on Buddhist holy land

London practice Office for Architectural Culture has won an international design competition to masterplan a meditation park in China.

The firm, working with landscape architect David Blackwood Murray, has been commissioned to come up with a plan for the Famen Temple Zen Meditation Centre near Xi’an.

Office for Architectural Culture was founded by ex-RMJM lead designer on the Gazprom tower scheme in Russia, Charles Phu, back in 2011 and is the largest project in the firm’s fledgling history.

Phu, who left RMJM back in 2010, said the firm beat Aedas and the designer of the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan.

The project is being developed by Qujiang Group – which specialises in redeveloping historical sites – on the site of the 1,850 year old Famen Buddhist Temple. The project size area is 1,250,000sq m while the building floor area is around 300,000sq m.

It will include four museums, venues for meditation, an art and music complex, along with a 5 star hotel. In addition, it will feature an Eightfold Path Forest – the Eightfold Path is the Buddhist path to enlightenment – running over 1km square and over 1,000 meditation lodges.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • The visuals came directly from the 80s

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  • OAC’s project design team is led by design director Charles Phu, and supported in design management by Roger Whiteman. Project design team key members include senior designer Oliver Hempel, Paul Browning and Amelia Payton.

    Alongside David Blackwood Murray's key role for the project, OAC has engaged Glasgow-based landscape consultant City Design to work with it to provide Landscape expertise to the Famen project. OAC has also engaged acclaimed artists Yomei Chiang and Philippe Devaud for the designs of featured artworks and environmental installations for the project.

    The engineering consultants Ramboll (London) and London-based museum consultant Real Studios have been engaged to assist in setting out sustainability strategies and experience intervention strategies of the Famen Temple Buddhist Zen Meditation Centre project.

    Charles Phu, Roger Whiteman and Oliver Hempel led St Petersburg's Okhta Centre project's London-based design team.

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