location: Houston, TX
area: 8,200 SF
status: Completed 2021

For many years, Hoi Long Hoa Temple, a Vietnamese Buddhist sect, suffered religious persecution from the communist government. They finally reestablished their temple in Houston. The mausoleum is built for their religious leader who recently passed away.

The mausoleum complex serves as an “Outdoor Temple”. As one enters the ground, he/she would pass through a pair of bronze gates. Immediately, visitors face a breeze block wall that obscures the view of the mausoleum.  Walking around the wall reveals a 12-feet wide nave that accommodates religious rituals. Flanking the nave are rows of white concrete benches leading up to the brick paved area in front of the Mausoleum designated for large group praying and ceremonial functions. In the future, the canopies of the two white oak trees will touch, forming a green “dome” over the prayer area. On both sides of the aisles, the CMU walls have built-in pots for visitors to place their flower offerings.

The matching plan and section of the mausoleum are designed to reflect light into the interior. The roof collects rainwater into a lily pad pond forming a moat around the mausoleum. The concrete bridge connects the outside world into the afterlife. The front facade of the mausoleum is a square representing the Earth.

The mausoleum is made from polished CMU, and the wall is made from burnished CMU. The 8-inch module of the CMU is the sacred building block from which the mausoleum complex is constructed where no block is “altered.”