The Tibetan Buddhist centre 'Workshop for the Mind', designed by COFO architects, officially opened its doors yesterday. Lama Jigme, the community's teacher, gave a special meditation session and a great thank you to all the volunteers, professionals and community members involved in the process. The pride felt by everyone was tangible during the festive event.
During the design and execution of this Buddhist community centre in Rotterdam, a genuine collective identity was consolidated through participation. The highly diverse community itself transformed a former industrial-printing house into their centre. COFO architects developed a clear architecture solution in an open and creative process. The main challenge was defining the strategy to successfully realise the design within the limited budget and within the available capacities of the community. The design workshops continued during the execution phase as intense building sessions. Extra attention was paid to the nature of the tasks and to the individual skills to guarantee that everyone was involved. Guided by the architectural vision, we worked together, we learnt from each other, and besides physically building a centre, we built a community.