The Shaolin Monks Fly Into the Sky Above a Mountainside Amphitheater

A new temple designed by Latvian architecture studio Mailītis Architects brings a whole new perspective to the legendary Shaolin monks: specifically an aerial perspective.

Perched on the Songshan mountain in rural Henan, China, this new temple designed by Latvian architecture studio Mailītis Architects brings a whole new perspective to the legendary Shaolin monks: specifically an aerial perspective. The recently completed Shaolin Flying Monks Temple contains a one-of-a-kind levitation pavilion that houses a vertical wind tunnel designed in part by Aerodium that blasts participants toward the sky in the center of a 230-seat amphitheater.

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“The concept is to tell the history of Zen and Kung-Fu through artistic performances and architectural image of the building itself,” says Mailītis. “It serves as a metaphor for mountain and trees and was inspired by Songshan mountain – the natural environment for monks to develop their skills.”

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All photos by Ansis Starks, courtesy Mailitis Architects

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