The earliest roots of Buddhism can be traced back to India from where it gained a devoted following throughout Asia. With over half a billion followers Buddhism is one of the world's major religions. The largest populations of Buddhist followers are in Asian countries including Taiwan where over one-third of the population is Buddhist. Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) is an international Buddhist organization based in Taiwan. DDM was founded in 1989 by Chinese Buddhist Monk Sheng Yen as a merging of Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture (founded in 1956) and Nung Chan (founded by Sheng Yen in 1975, also a Buddhist organization).
Nung Chan was originally headquartered in Beitou District in Taiwan's national capital Taipei. After the merger the site had insufficient space for DDM's increased following and the organization relocated their headquarters elsewhere, although the original Nung Chan Monastery continues to operate as a branch of DDM in Beitou District. The district is the northernmost, most mountainous and highest of Taipei's 12 districts and is home to the Guandu Plain where Nung Chan Monastery (more recently known as Water-Moon Monastery) is located.
Water-Moon Monastery includes an expansive new main hall in addition to Nung Chan Monastery's original buildings. Guandu Plain's extremely soft subsoil conditions made the project a major soil-structure interaction study (particularly considering Taiwan's high level of seismic activity). Also considering the importance of construction cost savings due to the nonprofit, charitable nature of DDM, King-Le Chang & Associates was able to devise an innovative structural system to best serve the organization's needs. In addition to several local architectural awards such as first place in the 2013 Taiwan Architecture Awards, Water-Moon Monastery has also been internationally recognized in the 2013 World Architecture Festival. The project was completed in 2012.
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Gross Building Area: 8,000 m^2
Scope of Service: Schematic design through construction administration
Client: Dharma Drum Mountain
Architect: Kris Yao | Artech (Taipei, Taiwan)