Rotterdamse Werkplaats voor de Geest is the new centre for the Tibetan Buddhist community Phuntsok Chö Ling. Within the Tibetan tradition and Buddhist needs, the design creates a contemporary space that aims to play an active role in the neighbourhood. By means of a participative process, the community itself has transformed the former industrial-printing house. The building process was used to strengthen the community and to create an exceptional bond between user and space.
The centre is organized in two main spaces with distinct character by means of a thick, programmed wall. Its depth enhances the entering experience of the sacred space. The spirituality of the Meditation Room is enriched by the careful articulation of three distinct horizons, which frame the colourful Buddhist ornaments. The hemp wall’s natural roughness combines with the intense blue ceiling and the warm oak bench to create a calm atmosphere for meditation.
At the front side, the multifunctional Foyer consists of a perimeter wall that defines a clear empty space directed towards the street to ensure the interaction between community and city. All essential functions are placed in niches to allow maximum flexibility. Each auxiliary space has its own identity and serves a specific purpose. Together they define a strong image that expresses the diversity of the community.