Author(s): Nerea Feliz
In 2011, 15 families of the Burmese refugee community on Buffalo’s Westside collectively purchased a vacant house in Buffalo at 349 Plymouth Ave. They wanted to convert the house to a Buddhist temple and residence for three monks. ‘Temple in a House’ is an adaptive project designed in collaboration with local architect and artist Dennis Maher (University at Buffalo), which presented a significant challenge: that of trying to reconcile a very radical change of program, use, and cultural references. Beyond the project’s unique socio-economic characteristics pertaining to Buffalo, this project has global implications. Changing world demographics, as a result of different economic and migratory dynamics, are increasingly asking designers to negotiate complex cultural, social, religious, and economic systems.
Alfredo Andia, Umberto Bonomo, Macarena Cortes, Dana Cupkova & Vera Parlac