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Nilanjan Bhowal

New Delhi, Delhi, India-110019

Meditation Hall - Delhi, Public Spaces-[]

Meditation is a mental discipline aimed at transcending the limitations of the thinking mind to plunge into a deeper state of awareness, a state in which, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, “Our Spirit sits alone and speaks to its gulfs.”

Inspired by the Buddhist architectural form, the Meditation Hall project is the outcome of a sensitive design developed from the twin ideas of connecting with the spirit and reaching the almighty. An attempt has been made to create an interactive interface with the external environment and has evolved from a rectangular plan with a vaulted roof, as conceived from the Buddhist Chaitya hall.

The design attempts a seamless integration of the play of light, form, and the surrounding greenery, with the Samadhi as the focal point. Portrayed as an extended altar, the Samadhi has been treated as a symbol of imagery and iconography. The front elevation on the north, facing the Samadhi, silhouettes the hands rising in prayer, which symbolises aspiration and devotion.

Design

Along the diagonal axis, the building touts open corners while remaining contained within the structural framework. The services of the building are kept isolated in the four corners. Slit windows for diffused light were inculcated in the elevation. These breakup the large mass of the building and lend a sense of height to the structure.

The material selection criteria also reflected the harmonious interaction of the locally available materials. The constraints of performance specifications in relation to surfaces also had to be kept in mind. Thus, the conscious choice was made towards stone, marble, and wooden flooring.

The pitched roof rises up in a pyramidal configuration symptomatic of power whereas the vaulted roof depicts the cosmos. A deliberate attempt to create an uneven roof to reduce the harsh effects of the projected sunlight, led to the evolution of the combined roof. This helped in conserving the genesis of the project which is also reflected in the elevation representing silhouettes of hands rising in prayer.

The idea was to minimise the effects of mid-summer sun. This has thus been achieved by reducing the fenestrations to slits in the Eastern and Western facades. Openings in the north and south sections were maximized to imbibe an experience of seasons and minimise the heat transfer. An amalgam consisting of east and west oriented vaulted roof and north and south oriented pitched roof is evocative of the building’s symbolic intentions.

The contrast of diffused lighting in the interior and warm lighting in the exterior reflects the harmony in design and at the same time contributes to the creation of a meditative ambience. The various levels created with the vaulted and pitched roof are highlighted by the subtle lighting scheme which in total enhances the spiritual experience of the interior space.

The project is a representation of the various symbolic considerations that graciously blend with both the interior and the exteriors. The building uses design metaphors and synthesis principles of energy conservation with architectural manifestation. The achieved environment is thus ideal for meditative purposes and spiritual pursuits.

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This picture relates to/has: Exterior, Elevation

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This picture relates to/has: Exterior, Elevation

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This picture relates to/has: Exterior, Elevation

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This picture relates to/has: Religious Complex, Meditation Hall, Ceiling Design, wooden flooring

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This picture relates to/has: Religious Complex, Meditation Hall, Ceiling Design, wooden flooring

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This picture relates to/has: Religious Complex, Meditation Hall

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A Mezzanine floor

A Mezzanine floor

A Mezzanine floor was provided as an extended seating such that it has the proper view of the main hall

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An amalgam

An amalgam

An amalgam of a vaulted roof and a pitched roof rise up in a pyramidal configuration symptomatic of power whereas the vaulted roof depicts the cosmos.

This picture relates to/has: Religious Complex, Meditation Hall, Ceiling Design, wooden flooring

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Concept Development

Concept Development

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Ground Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan- Along the diagnol axis,the building has open corners to facilitate natural ventilation. Slit windows were introduced for diffused lighting.

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Looking out towards

Looking out towards

Looking out towards the Samadhi- Portrayed as an extended alter, it has been treated as a symbol of imagery and iconography.

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Sustainable Features of the project

Sustainable Features of the project

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Symbols of Sri Mother and Sri Aurobindo made in gold stainless steel become an integral part of the structure

This picture relates to/has: Exterior, Elevation

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The magnanimous sacred

The magnanimous sacred

The magnanimous sacred white structure rising amidst the greens

This picture relates to/has: Exterior, Elevation

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The sublime beauty

The sublime beauty

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To embibe an experience of seasons and minimise the heat transfer, openings were maximised in the North-South direction.

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Vaulted roof

Vaulted roof

Vaulted roof receives around 35% less energy and provides greater ceiling height, illumination possibilities and structural stability.

This picture relates to/has: Religious Complex, Meditation Hall

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