07 Team Bodensee

Architects contest | 07 Team Bodensee

07 Team Bodensee (AT/DE)

There is so far still no building tradition for our western Gompas and no specific architectural style for our Diamond Way Centers.

Our basic questions – including our answers:

What is our new World Center supposed to express?
Openness, clarity, transparency, power and strength.

How do we want to present ourselves?
Self-confident, strong, western, world open, well organized, goal-oriented, manifold, happy.

Which message do we want to convey?
Enlightenment, idealism, friendship and confidence.

What objectives do we have?

Outgoing from a strong place, to lead the concerns of the Diamond Way Centers, contemporary meditations and lectures in a modern multi-purpose hall, a well working administration centre, meeting place filled with joy, stylish living also for visitors and course participants.

What do we not want?

To live in a museum, to take over feudalistic structures, that only a favoured few may enter the main house, a “smurf village” with snugly places and romantic alleyways, the architectural style of “Old Schwarzenberg” with flutes and energy spirals, a Tibetan monastery or a bhutanese Dzong.

The stately manor “Hochreute”

Respect and protect the monument-protected estate – but not however hold desperately to useless parts. Break open the very much locked general impression of a feudalistic, grand residence and make it permeable.


A centralised building – so that as many people as possible sit close to the Lama, variable, expandable, multiple use, views into the space, into the yard, to mountains and lake, over the valley, but also closed – if the diversion is too disturbing. Suitable meditation rooms for 1 to 1000 Kagyus, to provide enlargement options and extension possibilities.

Building specification

New building

The Gompa is the central space of the new building, the centreline runs from the stupa in the courtyard in the west to the large Buddha in the east. Also in all other directions a Buddha is positioned. They look into the center of the Gompa (small Gompa to the north, prostration-Gompa to the south, gallery to the east, Gompa to the west). Entrance hall and small Gompa can be opened by sliding walls.

The gallery over the wardrobes and the corridors in the 1st floor can extend the space offer of the Gompa depending upon need. 518 m² so really become fully usable 850 m²!!!

Residence Karmapa: At the highest and most beautiful place in the new building. Dwelling for Karmapa in the 1st  floor with view over lake and mountains.

The seminar rooms are in the north of the 1st floor

Thanka painters and statue producers in the basement, but as situated on a hillside, at ground level.
Handicraft work is possible also on the terrace. Generous sanitary rooms in the basement, accessible from entrance hall and from the outside Stockrooms and archives in the not fully lighted basement.

Main building

Ground floor: representative rooms, reception room for noble guests, “chief office” diamond way centers, large meeting room, library with reading rooms with tea-kitchen and terrace accessible from the entrance hall. The large meeting room in the south-west-corner provides double use and serves also as living room for the house inhabitants. The administration office is directly accessible from the vestibule.

1st floor dwelling with a smaller room in the south-east corner with balcony.
2nd floor Lama Ole and team
3rd floor for the time being Karmapa – until the Gompa is built.

Adjacent building

In the southern part, dwelling over three levels.  In the northern part at the ground level,  exhibition, shop and front desk. These public areas open towards the parking lot (to the west). By shop windows and glassed entrances deep views into the exhibition and over the inner courtyard up to the Gompa. In the 1st floor, sleeping area for groups.

Stable building

Kitchen with all secondary rooms and dining hall in the ground floor. Dwelling in 1st floor and in 2nd floor (if the incident daylight is possible).

Shed and intermediate building

Demolition of the existing and construction of a new building for the Cafe. Public entrance to the Cafe from the west, but also from the courtyard. Connection to dining hall and kitchen, Cafe terrace to the courtyard, flat roof with observation terrace to the west (sitting in the evening sun).


Seizing the suggestion of the historic conception of the cloister, varied in an accessible Mandala with four gates and/or a Ngoendro yard with four levels for the four fundamental exercises. Broad, circulating walkway, on three sides roofed over with glass, the broad canopy of the stable closes it on the fourth side. Further opening in the yard wall directly at the second house for entrance to the vegetable garden and to the lower part of the park.

Garden / outdoor installations

Spice and vegetable garden in front of the Second House. Pergola behind garden wall at north-west corner main house, terrace behind garden wall at south-east corner adjacent building. Summer fairground with BBQ place under the copper-beeches. Access over the weedy staircases. Fire place in the proximity of the glasshouse.

Building materials of the fronts

The front materials of the existing buildings are taken up and repeated in a modern form. The walls will be plastered white, the weather side refaced with silver-grey wood screens or wood shingles. Instead of the green folding shutters of the existing building, sliding shutters painted in the five wisdom colours will be used.

Functional scheme

During normal operation:

Entrance to the Gompa from west, from the courtyard through the vestibule or wardrobes. Everything takes place around the inner courtyard. The Gompa yard becomes the dining terrace, the glass canopy of the entrance hall will be used as roofed outdoor dining place.

During public lectures:

The inner courtyard is closed, the access turns around 90° to the north. The entrance is effected now over the northerly yard and the entrance hall. Mobile wardrobes will be placed in the entrance hall against the eastern wall. Expandabilities by opening the small Gompa and gallery.

During big events:

The folding walls to the small Gompa and to the entrance hall will be put away. The entrance hall separation wall separates now the entrance hall from the stairway and the sanitary rooms. The wardrobes in the west can be extended by an additional shoe storage, which is under the entrance hall glass canopy.

During the summer course:

The Gompa will be situated on the first plateau over the courtyard, and is opened by two lateral ways and a centric outside staircase. The meal tent on the northern Gompa yard is moved that far to the east that the view to the lake along the new building is possible. The sanitary installations of the new building can be used and reached by means of the outside staircase, without using the entrance hall.

Manfred Gehrmann, Bregenz – Austria, Diamondway Center Dornbirn