Master´s Thesis 2021 Matter Space Structure

Yinan Huang



This thesis derives from my personal intercultural curiosity between the Eastern and Western worlds. The religious building is a pointcut to investigate the topic. To narrow the broad theme down, the thesis focuses on the plan layout of Christian churches and Buddhist temples and gives up many worth-discussing aspects, which could be developed later. Considering the limited time for the thesis, it ends with an analysis of a few selected buildings. If not, I would like to comprehensively review the history of religious architecture and develop a much more solid and more convincing conclusion.

The conclusion part of the analysis is not only a summary of comparison of religious buildings in the context of Christianity and Buddhism, but also can be applied to certain modern architectures, whether religious or not. Then we might find that, as Max Weber (1930) argued, theology is right at the core of soulless modernity. In some sense, the thesis is a lens to look at ourselves to answer the fundamental questions: who are we, and where do we come from?

The proposal transforms a Christian chapel into a Buddhist-aura gathering space for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. In a broader sense, the thesis responds to the current situation in three aspects, the desolate scene of empty churches, social segregation, and inadequate intercultural communication. These problems have been mentioned in the text and can be further developed in design.

The final design is a reflection of the analysis. In a way, it is good as the analysis and design is consistent. But in another way, I sometimes feel too straightforward and lacking a sense of poetry. And some aspects regarding transformation can be further elaborated in detail.

Overall, the thesis finds some characteristics of Christian churches and Buddhist temples, links the spatial setting to the theological belief to some extent, and proposes a transformation project to improve Buddhists’ embarrassing situation and intercultural communication in Göteborg.

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