Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple

Zeedijk 106-118
Fred Greven
Fo Guang Shan Order
Buddha's Light International Association, Taiwan
NS Amsterdam Centraal, metro 51, 53, 54, stop Nieuwmarkt
Bron: Marlies Buurman, Maarten Kloos (red.), Amsterdam Architecture 2000-2002, Amsterdam 2003, p.42-43.

Buddhist temple in the old city centre

The Chinese Buddhist Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple is situated in the middle of Amsterdam’s Chinatown. An exterior stairway leads to the centrally situated temple space proper, beneath which are a second prayer space and a dining hall, and above which is a meditation area.

Two ancillary buildings, on either side of the temple, contain the nuns’ rooms and a library. The entire complex marks the encounter between the Chinese and Dutch cultures. Characteristic elements such as the granite exterior stairway and the balustrades were made in China. However, together with the Dutch architect, the Chinese who commissioned the building deliberately chose to give shape to the transition to the typically Dutch architecture of the Zeedijk in the elevations of the ancillary buildings. In a physical sense, visitors experience this transition when they enter the temple, via an entrance with three gateways. The layered character of the forecourt gives the entire complex a remarkably spatial quality. (ARCAM/BU)