Arquitectura Viva
Monday, August 10, 2020

Miró Rivera Architects, Chinmaya Mission in Austin (Texas)

The Chinmaya Mission for education in the Hindu religion is an 8-acre campus consisting of several buildings, and the most important one, the Bala Vihar, contains twelve classrooms, a central gallery, and the temple. The rooms of Bala Vihar are equipped with mobile screens, thanks to which the space can accommodate a wide diversity of activities. This flexibility extends to the gallery, which can be used for circulation, exhibition, and assembly. As for the temple, it is a reinterpretation of the construction typologies and elements of traditional Hindu architecture, translated into a contemporary language. The first is a fence forming a square on the ground, built with local sandstone and marking the perimeter of the sacred premises to give way to a series of concentric rings that recall the configuration of a mandala. The second traditional feature is the symmetrical and clearly oriented layout, expressed in the axis that leads from the stone area into the altar, passing through a door which is protected by a small narthex. The slanting roof evokes the third element of vastu shastra (principles of Hindi design): a roof with very steep pitches, with a skylight on top that is positioned in such a way that incoming daylight is reflected on the wall of the altar, creating a special atmosphere conducive to meditation.
AV Monografías 226 - SOU FUJIMOTO AV Monographs
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