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WAT PA SUNANTAWANARAM

Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi
Thailand
2002

WAT PA SUNANTAWANARAM

Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi
Thailand
2002

WAT PA SUNANTAWANARAM

Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi
Thailand
2002

Kanchanaburi, located about 130 kilometers west of Bangkok, is Thailand’s third-largest province. Wat Pa Sunantawanaram, a Buddhist temple, was established there for the study and practice of meditation.


Its unostentatious appearance differs from traditional Thai temples, which tend to be vast complexes decorated with glittering ornaments and symbols of Hindu-Buddhist cosmology. This temple’s humble appearance underscores the Buddhist philosophy of simplicity as a way of life. It contains only essential structures and eschews ornamentation.


The temple’s central multipurpose hall is a single-story structure inspired by the province’s local religious architecture. It features a main hall for meditation and two wings with semi-open rooms for prayer. These structures encircle an open courtyard used primarily for meditation. The wooden roof structure branches into different directions as a metaphor for the form of a tree. Natural light passes through selected areas of the translucent roof tiles to illuminate the image of Buddha.


Construction materials were mostly sourced from the local area and have been left in a raw or lightly processed form that reveals their natural textures and finishes. Materials include bamboo awnings, reclaimed timber flooring, and polished cement floors.


This is a place where people come to seek truth and enlightenment. The architecture reflects the principles of Buddhism and, in particular, the teachings of the late Luang Pu Chan, a respected Buddhist monk.

AWARDS
ASA Citation Awards : 2004

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