10 Menzel-Kossowski

Architects contest | 10 Menzel-Kossowski

10 Menzel-Kossowski – Darmstadt (DE)



„This would be a place, where many cultures will cross in a Buddhist setting, where many people will learn from each other, where a lot of fertile minds, a lot of sharp people, a lot of idealistic people will be able to influence each other, fall in love privately and just really grow as human beings and share with others at the same time.”
(Lama Ole Nydahl)


The approach of the concept towards the task of the competition was arranged through three scenarios that would take place in the life of the Europe Centre.

°  Scenario 1 – “Everyday Life”

Residents are at home and no course is taking place. The small gompa in the new building and the dining room in the barn building with the courtyard terrace will be used.

° Scenario 2 – Courses, centre meeting

Guests stay in the group rooms (first floor-barn building). Other sleeping possibilities are on the meadow north of the courtyard (camping) and in the small gompa in the new building. The large gompa, seminar rooms, dining room and café with terrace will be used.

° Scenario 3 – Big events

Visitors stay predominantly on the north meadow (camping + washrooms etc.) and in the group sleeping rooms. The large gompa would be available in reserve to provide more sleeping places. An event tent would be set up on the meadow.

Architects Concept

The new building uses the present surface area in the courtyard to provide the required large capacity rooms.

The new building complements the historical building in a self-confident yet peaceful architectural style. It accommodates the necessary areas and shows in its appearance the tone of Diamond Way Buddhism: simplicity, modernity and single-mindedness. The shape of the new structure represents no competition with the present buildings in the courtyard. Timelessness is achieved through the simplicity of the architectural style.

The concept’s quality is drawn from the advantages of the surroundings – the gompa opens up by means of a large window to the lake and the mountains behind. – The view alone is able to enlighten everyone!

All the planned functions are well arranged and correctly zoned. On the ground floor follows one after another the necessary adjoining rooms: cloakroom, shoe park, shop and café. The large gompa is reached through a foyer that has the best view in the world.  You are also able to reach the rooms on the first floor by the open staircase in the foyer. Here is found the small gompa for “everyday use” and four seminar rooms.

The utility room, toilet and washing facilities with showers are set-up in the basement.

The gompa with 530 square meters offers space for about 500 guests. The foyer surface can be used as an extension and this extra 275 square meters increases the number of guests that can be accommodated to 800.

The special highlight of the large gompa is a large sculptured roof that provides the light in the gompa in an effective yet playful way and at the same time provides the people meditating with fresh air.

Darmstadt, October 2007