Kiran Village – Meditation Room

Varanasi, India

Project Overview

The Kiran Village is a centre that enables children with mental and physical disabilities to discover their full potential and lead full and rewarding lives. Kiran means ray of light in Hindi and Kiran’s mission is to shine hope and love into the lives of everyone they work with.

Kiran is an inclusive centre, place for all faiths and beliefs and a place for different people to come together. It is also a place for the development of the whole person, physical, mental and spiritual. Therefore it was important to make a space in the centre for spiritual reflection, yoga and meditation. This space has to be understood as a sacred space by all faiths without being a church, a temple, or a mosque.

After consulting with the staff and the students we decided that the meditation room would be circular in form. To accentuate this form, I designed a brick dome to sit on top of the circular room. From the outside I designed the building as a square and used the gaps between the square and the circle to allow the air and light into the building. At the top of the dome I made a lantern and the external form of the roof was an 8 sided roof. This provided enough room at the corners of the roof to fit a beam to help support the lantern.

At each corner of the building was a gap to allow the light in, but not to allow a view out. This made the walls glow with magical light that seemed to come from within the building itself. It addition to this no matter which way the wind is blowing one corner of the building points into the wind and the opposite corner points away so that the air flows through the building to keep the inside cool and comfortable.

I decorated the floor with a labyrinth that represented the path of life and it became a motief that could be understood and interpreted by different faiths.
The site for the meditation room was located beside a lilly pond and sat half over the water and half on the land. During the rainy season the pond filled up and lotus flowers and water lilly grew on the water.
The building is used everyday for meditation and yoga and it can be used by people of every faith to pray together which is a very important aspect of life in India.

What we did

  • Urban Planning
  • 3D Modelling
  • Interior