02 Heuer und Karg

Architects contest | 02 Heuer und Karg

02 Heuer und Karg – Buxtehude – DE

Public Traffic

A public walkway goes through the property. When you use this walkway and come towards the EC, the first thing that is visible is the large stupa that stands before the whole property. This gives right away the first impression: “Buddhist Centre” transparent and approachable for everyone.

Interested people could before they reach the stupa visit an information cabin and become informed about the Karma Kagyu- Linage and Buddhism and then go around the stupa being well informed.

The walkers would then be directed to the main entrance where next to the entrance gate they can find on the left a café and on the right an exhibition room for public exhibitions. Therefore curious people can get some info without having to walk through the property. When they need more info or would like to rummage around a shop, they can find here the reception with a small shop inside, directly opposite the door to the exhibition room.

Function allocation for the buildings

Every house has an important public function. In house 2 the exhibitions, in the barn the café, in the main house the library and Karmapa’s main audience room and in the newly built building the gompa. For us it is important that each house is open to the public and therefore popular. Especially, the beautiful space of the ground floor in the main house should be enjoyed by all. Therefore here for example a reading room in the beautiful winter garden with a view of the lake.

Arrangement of the new buildings

In our design are 3 different structures that are connected with each other and two new inner courtyards, a stupa and a meditation courtyard.

The idea to build new inner and outer spaces come from the following reasons:

  1. The different functions of the historic inner courtyard:
    Here people will live, eat and celebrate….
    Especially here there will not be much peace to meditate during events. Now you find yourself in the meditation courtyard next to the gompa, protected from the wind with a view of Karmapa’s small house (icehouse) and the lake.
  2. A stupa as the centrepiece in the historical inner courtyard, from the architectural style would compete against the present buildings (especially the main house).
  3. Big courses.
  4. The stupa inner courtyard could be used as an over flow area for the gompa.

As a gate for the new inner courtyard (the cross over from old to the new stupa courtyard) you can find 2 large information boxes made from glass that break through the historical wall and serve as a central point for world-wide Kagyu information.

We want to design something that fits to the landscape, enhances the present property and does not compete with the current buildings or destroys the arrangement of space.

The four new buildings:

The large gompa building

The enclosed natural stone façade made from basalt tiles gives the four -corner structure a reserved aura yet radiates in a naturally powerful way. As can be seen in the 2 photos on the plan the basalt façade will continue onto the roof.

The south side of the building is completely open with a glass façade and offers out of the gompa a marvellous, peaceful view of the valley and its alp lake.

Large moveable panels serve to provide shade. Here also stands a 4m high Buddha statue in front of an altar. You look north to the campsite and all the people coming towards the gompa.

The north side is also completely glass. Here the same panels serve as a sight protection to the stupa inner courtyard.

The north side under the 3m mark can be completely opened so that the stupa courtyard and the small gompa can be used as an over flow for the large gompa. We figure a complete area of 1100 square meters. For courses up to 2000 Buddhists an extra tent is with our concept not necessary . To cover the inner courtyard would be enough. At smaller events the gompa with its 620 square meters would accommodate up to 1000 people.

The Foyer building

The foyer connects the large and small gompa.

The structure is a simple waler with a glass façade and a green roof.

With its transparent lightness it provides a contrast to the massive outer wall of the large gompa. The stepping of the inner courtyard ( side terrace) will continue with a pavement into the foyer and supported so as to give the impression that the inner and outer areas crossover.

Because of the glass in the foyer there is a view to the edge of the eastern forest.

The visibility from the inside of the foyer was very important to us:

Here you can sit and see the sunset behind the small stupa, look to the forest in the east and when you go past the coatroom into the large gompa you have a marvellous view of the alp lake. In order to enjoy all that and at the same time enjoy a cup of coffee a small kitchenette is built in.

Toilets and showers are located in the basement and can be reached quickly from both of the gompas. The east side is illuminated with overhead lights.

The small gompa building

The structure takes the form of a barn building and so makes a connection with the current historical buildings. Here a basalt façade was also chosen. The roof is a simple zinc covering.

The shop on the ground floor is arranged so that anyone who would like to meditate either in the large or small gompa must go by. It is completely open to the stupa courtyard and has a small storeroom.

The small gompa (100 square meters) is also open to the courtyard.

Translucent movable panels can be pushed to the side in order for the small gompa to be used as an extension for the large gompa.

The café building

In order for the café to be bright and spacious and placed at the main entrance, we decided to increase the size of the small building with the winter garden located between the small house and the entrance. Additionally, the roof should be raised and made from zinc. The roof tiles removed from this building could be used for improvements to the other buildings.

Thoughts to the barn building

Two interesting problems came up with the barn structure:

  1. The lighting
  2. Fire safety

In our design we have placed the rooms for the people living there on the north side with the light coming from the glass gables. The gable façade according to listed building protection laws falls under the base covering boards category and so the base will be made of glass and so direct light into the building.

On the south side the roof has moved so far down that the rooms do not receive enough light. Here you could also make the base of the façade from glass in order to be of value to the guest rooms lying at the back.

The middle part of the second floor apart from a few tiny dormer windows has no chance of lighting. We have thought about that when the roof is renovated we could put in a few hatches covered in the roof tiles so as not to go against the listed building protection laws. Behind these hatches we could put in windows. So could in this way the group bedrooms on the second floor be illuminated and allow in fresh air.

Fire safety:

Two additional outer stairs on the north side of the barn would take care of any emergency exits needed.

On the upper floors we have 3 different living quarters that when required could be separated with F90 fire protection walls without a great cost. With this concept the need for fire alarms can be avoided.