Martyr Shrine / Lestudioarchitects

Architects: Lestudioarchitects
Area: 175 m²
Year: 2021
Photography: Hoang Le
Manufacturers: Alis
Lead Architect: Hoang Le
Lighting Consultants: Alis Lighting
Schematic Design: Dung Pham
Visualization: Linh Mai
Country: Vietnam
Construction: Religious Architecture
City: Bình Lục District
Province: Hà Nam

The temple project by Lestudioarchitects in Vietnam’s Hà Nam province is a religious architecture project that intertwines religious symbolism and natural landscapes along a north-south axis termed the “pilgrimage path”. This path connects key parish structures—a cathedral, temple, and a natural water body—culminating at the holy temple. Designed with solid, closed architecture, the temple contrasts sharply with its interiors that open dramatically towards the northern natural scenery. This design dialectic enhances the spiritual journey, emphasizing a connection to nature that resonates with early spiritual perceptions. The use of local materials like brick and wood and the inclusion of sacred symbols craft a space that’s both a homage to traditional Vietnamese architecture and a functional religious site.

Martyr shrine / lestudioarchitects

The temple, part of a master plan on the “pilgrimage path” within the parish, connects three primary structures: the cathedral, the temple, and a natural water surface, creating a sacred axis. This journey concludes at the holy temple, characterized by solid and closed architecture designed to produce a sense of compression and weight by lowering the roof height within the field of vision.

Martyr shrine / lestudioarchitects

The interior of the temple contrasts with its exterior by opening up to a large frame in the harem, oriented towards the water and the natural greenery at the site’s northern boundary. This sequence of closed and open structures enhances the sensory experiences of visitors and underscores the concept of an unending sacred axis in the planning.

In the project’s context, the water feature near the harem is seen as an extension of the architecture, with the building modestly integrating into the surrounding landscape. The natural scenery complements this design, forming a significant green backdrop. This integration reflects the project’s overarching goal of harmonizing with nature, a theme rooted in ancient spiritual connections to the landscape.

The temple employs symbolic elements to evoke local spirit, with its large tile roof recalling the communal temple roof in a village setting, and maintaining a scale similar to such traditional structures. The architectural design articulates the relationship between heaven, earth, and humans through its base, body, and roof—elements that represent the decorative terrain, the space occupied by people, and the complex, spiritually charged roof structure, respectively.

Primary materials include brick and wood, treated to echo the rusticity of local life. A historical connection is made through the old stone from the church foundation, repurposed as the base for the Saint statue, honoring the foundational figures of the Vietnamese Catholic Church. This project not only reflects the physical landscape but also the layered religious symbolism deeply ingrained in Vietnamese culture.

Martyr shrine / lestudioarchitects
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: C2V9+WMW, Tiêu Động Thượng, Bình Lục, Hà Nam, Vietnam

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