A reinterpreted Zen teaching, “Change and Impermanence in Life”, is reinterpreted into an architectural language and adopted for façade treatment and interior design to reflect the repurposed programme as a Zen dojo.

Dojo at Clifton Centre

The proposal for a Zen dojo, set in the centre of Clifton Village, is an exploration of the relationship between several themes. 

i) Existing Fabric – Context

Through echoing the rhythm and scale of neighbouring facades, the project seeks to reconcile the unusual existing fabric which is distinctive from its surrounding Georgian facades.

Portfolio Extracts

ii) Repurposed Programme – Existing Fabric

The project embraces and retains the essence of the existing fabric while taking in the new programmes through treating the outer façade as a reinterpretation of a Zen teaching.  Interior spaces also feature adaptation of a similar architectural language.

Exterior Perspective

iii) Public-Private Programme

To meditate between the public (streets) and private (dojo), the more secluded dojo programmes are located at the 1st floor while the whole of G floor becomes the public offering and is opened up to become an extension of streets. A meditative pool at the G floor serves to increase public engagement with the local community.

Section of proposal


  • Email: chowly@cardiff.ac.uk