Diploma Vår 2019

A Zen Monastery

Nhan Van Nguyen

The purpose of Zen is enlightenment. And Zen is perceiving things as their true nature, without adding your own thoughts, experience, and value. This diploma project was investigating the experience of spaces in a Zen monastery. It was a search for an architecture that perceived the relation between space and rituals. The idea of secluded spaces was not about similarities, but transitions between singularities. The monastery was to be located on a promontory, surrounded by water and nature in the valley of Maridalen. A path led up to the space. Enclosed by the forest, this created a continuous landscape towards the monastery. The monastic space itself resides in silence. In the end, you are reminded of an old Zen saying: ‘Not the stillness in stillness, but the stillness in movement is the true stillness.’