A formal architecture competition was held between the months of May and August 2011 at the Rigpa centre in Berlin, to identify a winning candidate to design the Spiritual Care Centre. Expertly guided by Prof. Achatzi, a specialist in the field, 14 applications were reviewed by a panel of independent architects and Rigpa representatives. After two rounds of the competition, a clear winner emerged by unanimous decision—Karl Hufnagel, a Berlin-based architect. His imaginative design utilizes the natural gradient of the land to great effect; the buildings are well integrated into the landscape and views towards the south and west (the lake) have been optimized. The design was especially appreciated for its sense of openness and close contact with nature.
Over the next several months, we will work closely with the architect to refine his design and ensure that it best meets our requirements. This requires that we further clarify and specify the three principal activities that will take place in Sukhavati: Community, Education and Care. The harmonization of these different elements will be a crucial factor in the design process.
We aim to submit our planning application in winter 2012/13. Following approval, we can expect to begin construction in summer of 2013. The building programme will span one year, therefore our goal is to open the centre in winter 2014.