Photo © Masao Nishikawa
Photo © Masao Nishikawa
Photo © PLATdesign
Photo © Masao Nishikawa
Photo © Masao Nishikawa

Hangzhou Meilizhou Church

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Zhejiang, China

This church sits outside of town in a summer resort area surrounded by forest. In designing the landscaping, we thought about how to create a border between the holy space, the forest, and the every-day living environment surrounding it.  We focused on the approach to the church and the unfolding sequence of steps between it and its surroundings.

Among the elements we used were a stone path that stretches out as if leading visitors away from the earthly world; a large staircase in front of the church lined with a wall shielding it from its surroundings; a pure white inner garden floating in a field of green, symbolizing innocence; and a series of low, irregular walls that gently divide forest and grounds.

We hope that the texture, opposition of, and distance between these elements form an emotional landscape that stays with visitors long after they leave the church and its garden.

Architectural Design: Tsuhima Design Studio

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