engineering careers  Wind tunnel allows monks to fly above “Shaolin Flying Monks Temple”
engineering careers  Wind tunnel allows monks to fly above “Shaolin Flying Monks Temple”

After six years the “Shaolin Flying Monks Temple” has officially opened in Henan province, China. The ambitious project, lead by Latvian studio Mailītis Architects, is nestled in a mountain range in central China and offers people an opportunity to literally fly.

The 230 amphitheatre is a platform for artistic performances. The concept behind the project was to tell the history of Zen and Kung-Fu through artistic performances and the architectural image of the building.

The building served as a metaphor for mountain and trees with its shape finishing the peak of the Cypress Hill. The design was inspired by Songshan mountain – home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shaolin Monastery and the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and Kung-Fu.

A huge wind tunnel rises high in the centre of the amphitheatre, with a branch-like structure that splaying outwards at its top. The Monks host weekly shows where both they and the general public can try flying.

The theatre also features an inner stage, exterior surface and steps and a three-storey interior space housing facilities for visitors and performers. The wind tunnels engine room sits below the stage and is covered by a perforated surface which sucks in air and eliminates sound.


The Stats
Project length – 2010 – 2016
Location – Songshan mountain, Henan province, China
Total Area – 300 sqm
Design Team – Austris Mailītis, Ints Meņģelis, Kārlis Melzobs, Dina Suhanova, Valters Murāns, Andra Odumāne, Jekaterina Olonkina

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