The Water Temple or “Shingonshu Honpukuji” created by Tadao Ando is a Buddhist temple on Awaji Island. The temple is a true testament to Tadao Ando’s philosophy of incorporating his buildings into the surroundings instead of disturbing the environment. The first image depicts the roof of the Temple, a pool underneath a large tree almost as if it were a natural. I simply feel peaceful when I look at this picture. In the middle of the pool is a concrete staircase that cuts the pool in half and leads into the temple’s inner sanctum. I love how the staircase blends in with the water so much that it can hardly be seen in the first picture and thus does not interrupt the tranquility of the pool. When descending into the temple, the path begins to circle around the inner sanctuary. As one gets closer to the center the space begins to radiate with orange and yellow. Eventually the inner sanctum and Buddha statue are revealed at the center of the temple in a sunset glow which is shown in the last image.
The first couple of times I saw the library I felt like I couldn’t take it all in at once. The huge front entrance, the many statues, and the detailed art are a lot to observe. When I think about it I find symbolism everywhere. The library is a stronghold of knowledge that represents a gate that all students mass pass through in order to succeed in college. To me the large pillars at the main entrance almost resemble the posts of a large gate. The building is well decorated with statues and symbols that beautify it, just as having knowledge can lead to the career that one has always wanted and the luxurious lifestyle that can come with it. However, there are also days when I do not see the library’s beauty, instead it appears grim with its green, gloomy roofing and towering pillars that make the library almost daunting. On these days I still see symbolism; the path to knowledge is not always charming (as the library usually is) but takes work and effort to obtain. The path can be imposing in how much must be learned in order to succeed at the University, just as the giant pillars can be imposing. Ultimately when I look at the library I see my college lifestyle, mostly a great experience but at times daunting.