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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

2001

  • Work on this object began.

2015

2020

  • You found it!

Temple (unbuilt), 2001

This is a Temple (unbuilt). It was designed by Heatherwick Studio and Thomas Heatherwick and made for (as the client) The Shingon-hu Buddhist Organization. It is dated 2001.

Can the varied programmatic needs of a spiritual building be unified in a single idea?
A Buddhist priest asked Heatherwick Studio to design a temple dedicated to legendary samurai Saigo Takamori on a mountainside overlooking the city. The site would also house an ossuary for the remains of relatives. The studio used thin rubberized foam to achieve a complex form that resembles draped and folded fabric. In the presentation model, horizontal layers create the building’s organic form and establish its interior, serving as stairs or extending to become furniture. The priest said the shape of the temple reminded him of the soft cushion the Buddha sits on

It is credited Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/85006421/ |title=Temple (unbuilt), 2001 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 May 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>