05 Team Guatemala

Architects contest | 05 Team Guatemala

05 Team Guatemala

1. Intervention in the Existing Buildings
The Court Yard with its stuppa is a quiet and ordered place conducive to meeting and sharing with others on a normal day basis. During large events, since the Main Gompa expands away from the Court Yard, the latter remains somewhat protected from crowds, insuring the privacy and quiet of the surrounding buildings. To reduce costs and make the best use of existing buildings, most of the newly required spaces are placed in them, in particular the lamas’ quarters (Lama Ole’s and the Karmapa’s); the permanent residents, the study areas (Seminar rooms and Library) and the service areas distributed as follows:

· North building (Stable)

This building houses the café, dinning room, kitchen with its facilities, laundry, workshops, storage areas and other services.

· West building (Guest House)

This building houses bedrooms for permanent residents, exhibition areas, seminar rooms and library (with archives and reading areas). Group dormitory needs are addressed in the seminar rooms for these alternative uses take place at different times.

· South Building (Main House)

This building houses the Karmapa flat, flats for Lama Ole and his Team, rooms for permanent residents and dormitory rooms for groups. As homage to the Tibetan typology in similar constructions and in order to avoid misunderstandings from traditional visitors, the Library and the Karmapa rooms are the higher rooms in the complex.
2. Proposed building
The new building lies on the east side of the complex. Due to the monument protection limitations, a structure on piles is used as entrance to insure minimal intervention of the protected wall. To visually integrate the new building to the existing complex, the Stables Building with its 45° roof shape, was used as a starting point. This shape successfully deals with the snow load common to the area, has the same visual rhythm of the complex’s roofs, while its southern side provides support for solar heat collectors to be used for heating and hot water needs in the new and possibly old buildings. The initial investment in solar collectors will translate in important future savings in heating costs. The A frame with appropriate ventilation at the top can generate sufficient draft to provide a comfortable environment during the summer months, even with the  presence of large crowds.

The Prostrations and Small Gompas
The program needs lists three types of gompas for public use, to address this, the new building was divided in two structures. The first structure lies at the entrance to the gompas from the Court Yard. On the ground level the Prostrations Gompa is found and, above it, the Small Gompa. The closure system for the three gompas borrows from the traditional Japanese windows with telescopic sections. This closure system allows the total enclosure of the Prostration gompa area or, if need be, its complete opening to be used as a small plaza.

To the east, a wall from floor to roof divides these gompas from the Main Gompa. On the ground floor, in the middle of the wall, there is an entrance to stairways that go down to the Protector’s Room. On the sides of the wall, two opening lead to stairways to the second level where the Small Gompa is found (capacity 100). To reach this gompa, there is a bridge to the balcony that surrounds it and heads to the entrance on the west side, looking at the Court Yard. This gompa has the same closure system as the one below.

The Main Gompa
The second structure is the Main Gompa. To reach the main entrance, it is necessary to go around the building and come in on the western side. Inside, at the far end is the Buddha facing the East and presiding the gompa. On the wall along the roof, there is an opening to provide light that can have a stained glass window or bottles1. The lower part of the A-frame structure is open on the north and south sides, where the closure system will allow the use of the surrounding areas for larger events. This provides expansion room all the way to the nearby woods during large events, maintaining, as much as possible, visual contact with the lama in front of the altar. The Main Gompa building sits on a stone covered foundation where, as it is customary in many gompas, the Protector’s Room is found below the gompa. Along the southern side of this ground level there are bedrooms, bathrooms with showers and support areas for the gompas. Both structures of the new building are joined together with a surrounding plaza and deck with a view (in light grey) on the south side. The latter also gives the main gompa, view of the lake and the distant mountains.

1) Enjoy! It’s cheaper than the stained glass and more fun.