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Heaven is Earth

Part 2 Project 2015
Boon Keong Ong
University of Malaya, Malaysia
This sanctuary is located at the border of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, sitting next to federal highway which linked to Malaysia capital city Kuala Lumpur. It served as the first A-frame building and Christian church in this area, since Rev. J. Harry Haines and Mr. Khoo Oon Soon brought in the first Christian community into the town in 1955. With the passage of time, Petaling Jaya has grown from a small town to a city and many of the congregation has moved out. However, they insists to come back for the worship on every Sunday, even if they have to travel in long distance. It certainly led me to think and explore the spiritual connection in between people and a “fixed object on the ground”.

To the congregation, there are nothing more than their belief leads them to create a spiritual connection with the church. However, this spiritual connection was built by "encounters". As encounter only refer to some experiences which happened uncontrollable and escapes from the shackles of time and space, it can be related to love, memory, sacredness and sometimes even horror; which is able to produce a certain degree of impact to our conscious and subconsciously built a spiritual connectivity.

Located in the complex environment, this building typology is undoubtedly having some conflicts with the surrounding environment. But it also reflects the contradictions of present days where we living in a complex world. This project is to challenge the traditional thinking of the relationship and the consciously distance between heaven and earth (sacred and secular space), taking “encounter” as a medium, it is intended to reinterpret spiritual values of a church, and find out the resonate in between these values and human consciousness. A series of journey in a narrative which has been introduced into the journey to the new sanctuary, each of the transition space have been endowed a unique “encounter experience”, sequential experience or individually experience for each of the space might lead to different realization.

Instead of creating a sensory space, it is more on the realization through the “encounter” journey.

Boon Keong Ong


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