Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre Suffolk, Walsham le Willows Architecture, Building Images

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre

Religious Community in Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, South East England design by Walters & Cohen Architects

21 May 2017

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre, Suffolk

Design: Walters & Cohen Architects

Location: Potash Farm, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, England, UK

A RIBA East Awards Winner in 2017

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre, Suffolk

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre Suffolk
photo © Dennis Gilbert – VIEW

Jury Report

This exquisite building for meditation is found in the midst of the Suffolk countryside. Although predominantly inward facing around courtyards it connects to the landscape beyond with views from shared communal rooms and bedrooms much as a monastic settlement might. It is a perfect setting for a Buddhist Centre.

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre Suffolk
photo © Dennis Gilbert – VIEW

It is simply conceived in an arrangement of courtyards and rooms with a subtle but powerfully orchestrated palette of materials. Day to day living spaces clad in timber sit around a beautifully landscaped courtyard used for teaching, meditation and relaxation. This is separated from the quieter areas by a walkway that cuts through the building connecting the entrance to the wider landscape beyond. These quieter courts embrace the shrine room and are enclosed by dark lattice brickwork that is skillfully executed allowing light to play over and through the walls.

Pre-cast concrete elements are used throughout as framing devices. whether they are portal frames to the communal spaces or colonnades to the courtyards. The complete ensemble of rooms, courts and materials has both a feeling of sparseness and sensuousness. It also brings people together in a relaxed way that allows the centre to fully exploit its potential as a haven for meditation.

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre Suffolk
photo © Dennis Gilbert – VIEW

This is an extraordinarily well conceived building which has arisen from close collaboration between client and architect and is delighting its users. There is a wonderful sense of calm in both the spaces created and materials used that are thoroughly appropriate to the building’s use.

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre Suffolk
photo © Will Scott

Architect practice: Walters & Cohen Architects
Date of completion: May 2016
Client company name: London Buddhist Centre
Project city/town: Walsham le Willows
Contract value: £4,162,557.00
Internal area: 1,210.00 m²
Cost per m²: £3,440.13 / m²
Contractor company name: SEH French Limited

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre Suffolk
photo © Will Scott

Consultants:
Structural Engineers: Price & Myers
Environmental / M&E Engineers: Skelly & Couch
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant: Holloway Squire Partnership
Project Management: Holloway Squire Partnership
Landscape Architects: Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape
Lighting Design: Speirs + Major
Acoustic Engineers: Skelly & Couch

Awards: RIBA East Award ; RIBA East Building of the Year

Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre, Suffolk images / information received May 2017

Walters & Cohen Architects

Address: Vajrasana Retreat Centre, Potash Farm, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk IP31 3AR
Phone: 01359 259067

Location: Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

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Website: Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre in Suffolk