Architectural Guidelines

General Recommendations for Urban Centres

When designing the floor plan for your Centre, in order to establish the proper view, it would be good for your Design Team to study the logic of the Three Courts, as well as the principles of  Heaven, Earth & Man; Outer, Inner & Secret; and Lha, Nyen & Lu.  It will also be necessary to consider the energetics and uses of the various rooms and spaces in the plan, along with their locations in relationship to one another.  All of these things will offer clues as to the best way to organize your floor plan.

Obviously you are welcome and in fact encouraged to consult with the Advisory Panel, or other Shambhala professionals during this preliminary phase of your planning.  It is important to understand that this phase is the basis for the entire design process, and as such it will really define the Project

In any case, once you come up with a preliminary sketch of your plan, your Design Team will need to send it to the Advisory Panel for their review. Please allow time in your schedule at this point, for a period of discussion, and possible redesign or refinement of the plan, based on any feedback or recommendations from the Panel.

A Few Simple Guidelines and Examples

The largest space in our Shambhala Centres should be the Main Shrine Room.  The scale of the room should be larger than needed for current membership.  Ideally it would be appropriately located and appointed (please refer to the guidelines for the Shambhala Shrine on this site) in a manner that reflects its nature as the inner heart of the Centre, but at minimum it should be a discrete room that can be closed off from the other activities of the Centre.

The next largest space should be the Community Room, where all the various more social activities can occur.  This space is part of the External Court, with prominent pictures of the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo, and a very warm and inviting energy.  Given the societal vision of Shambhala it is important that size and furnishing of this room be well considered, and that it not become just an after thought.

Ideally the Community Room should be located near, or as a part of the Entry Foyer, reflecting its nature as the outer expression of the Centre. It would also be best for practical reasons, if it is in close proximity to the Kitchen or Kitchenette, and any Bathrooms. Both of those primary spaces, as well as Bathrooms, a Meditation Instruction Room and ideally the Director’s Office, should all be handicapped accessible for both students and teachers.

For most Urban Centres, the Director’s Office represents the Sakyong’s Seat, and as such, this room should be well proportioned and elegantly appointed with the best furnishing and decorations that the Centre can afford. For Regional, and some of the larger Centres, the Tenno Room becomes the Sakyong’s Seat, and is set aside solely for the use of Their Majesties or their personal representatives.

For some Centres there will be a Vajrayana Shrine Room, having images and shrines of our less public deities.  Depending on the specific attributes and uses of this room, it could be seen as an aspect of either the Inner or Ultimate Court.  The Werma Shrine for example is an expression of the Ultimate Court.  In any case, ideally this kind of space should be located in a rather removed, and well protected part of the Centre.

For further guidelines and recommendations, also refer to Shambhala Centre Decor Guidelines on this site.