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Tadao Ando’s Hill of Buddha

August 21, 2017


Added to the architectural must-see list is the Makomanai Takino cemetery in Japan’s northern city of Sapporo.

For 15 years, the cemetery was home to a stone Buddha that sat alone in a field, before the owners decided they wanted to do something to give visitors a more serene appreciation of the figure.

Makomanai Takino BuddhaAs it sat before the project completion.

Cue self-taught architect Tadao Ando and his striking idea: hide the statue.

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

The hill is planted with 150,000 lavenders — green in spring, purple in summer, and white with snow in winter.

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

“The design intention was to create a vivid spatial sequence, beginning with the long approach through the tunnel in order to heighten anticipation of the statue, which is invisible from the outside.”
— Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

When the hall is reached at the end of the 40-metre approach tunnel, visitors look up at the 1,500 ton Buddha, whose head is framed by a halo of sky.

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Tadao Ando Hill of Buddha

Stunning.

Makomanai Takino cemetery was established in 1982, and is open all year. It’s about a 30-minute drive from central Sapporo, or you can take a subway from Sapporo Station to Makomanai Station and then catch the #2 or #3 bus. Visitor information here.

Via Spoon & Tamago.


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