A meditation hall, a temple, a sacred space – Concord’s design was inspired by the South Indian temple with energy flowing in from all 4 directions. Built out of the very earth on which it stands, the striking feature of Concord is the central “Column of Light” in an otherwise column-free space.
Roma Doshi, Auroma Synergy
Architectural Design, Structural Design, Sustainability Engineering – strategies for thermal comfort, Landscape Design, Interior Design.
June 2017 – Aug 2017
Aug 2017 – April 2018
The client of Auroma French Villaments requested us to design a Meditation Hall within the gated community which would bring together all the residents for group meditations and knowledge sharing sessions. The client wanted the design to be inspired by Matrimandir, the soul of Auroville, just a few kilometers away.
The occupancy of the hall was to be around 50 – 60 people. Generally, most sacred spaces are designed such that people are looking in one direction. Here, we decided to take clues from the design of The Hindu temples – one of the most remarkable examples of architecture in India.
Designing and building Concord was a unique privilege – a temple, a meditation hall, a sacred space. The key concept used in the Design of Temples in South India – openings in all four directions – was integrated. This allows breeze to flow in from all directions. One of the shlokas at the centre of this concept was the prayer from Rig Veda :
“Aa no badraaha kartavyo yanthu vishwatahah” (devanagari: आः नो भद्राः कर्तव्यो यन्तु विश्वतः) which translates into English as “Let Noble thoughts come to us from every side”.
The building is surrounded by Flowering Gardens on all sides and the entrance is carved out through a Japanese Garden flanked by a water pond.
The entire building is built with compressed stabilised earth blocks and internally plastered with the very earth on which the building stands – the earth that came out from the foundations. This keeps the interiors remarkably cool.
The main feature of the Hall is the Central Column of Light flooding from the skylight above, filtering through the Mother’s Symbol and connecting with the three dimensional symbol of Sri Aurobindo below.
I remember once Viral had told me as a kid:
“One day you will build a building to house my woodwork !”
And here we are – a bespoke earthen building with Sri Aurobindo’s three dimensional symbol at its centre – handcrafted by Viral !
Out of gratitude, one of the residents of AFV gifted us a scaled model of “The Concord” – the world’s fastest passenger aircraft – which flew at twice the speed of sound, as a symbol of accelerated evolution – the very purpose of Concord Meditation Hall.