Tuesday, January 20, 2009

East Meets West

Riccarton, Christchurch. Jan 2009. Ajr
You can’t miss the splendid bulk of the International Buddhist Association Centre on Riccarton Road. This is one of my favourite community buildings in Christchurch. Designed by Christchurch architects, Warren and Mahoney, it draws inspiration from the Dunhuang Caves – a series of over 490 caves, Buddhist temples and statues cut into the rock face near the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in north-west China, said to be the most comprehensive repository of Buddhist art and history in the world. Built at a cost on NZ$4.5 million, the prominent Riccarton centre, features a beautiful Indian sandstone façade with niches for bronze Buddhist statues. Inside there is a light-filled vegetarian café and teahouse, an art gallery, library, and prayer hall complete with a huge jade Buddha; and along the front, a line of my favourite ginkgo trees. www.warrenandmahoney.com

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