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Betakeri Kund Meditation Centre

The project began by selecting a story and deducing it's essence into a statement. The story selected by me was of the jain monks who left food and water to focus on their goal of attaining moksha, their bodies would weaken but their determination never decreased instead it would increase. The essence I deduced was, "Physical disintegration aids in understanding the true self." This statement was to be represented through an artistic expression and then in the form of architectural elements.

The programme on the site, The Betakeri Kund, includes a space for grieving (as the site is next to a crematory), toilets, showers and changing rooms, a place for refreshments for people coming from other towns, a pantry for providing some food and a space for meditation and contemplation. The narrative of the design builds from the deduction. The site condition was kept in mind while framing the narrative and the spaces seem as if they are emerging from a 3-metre-high platform (built of stones and soil). The platform disintegrates to form the roof and the ground forms the other elements. The space is open towards the east where they face the kund and the users can enjoy the view while meditating and eating. The space for grieving is intentionally isolated to avoid disturbance and the feeling of loss to the families and relatives of the deceased. The functions are dispersed from one another by creating alternate built up and landscape features to ensure no compromise in the variety of the activities that take place on the site. The site is shielded from the road by using dense vegetation, avoiding the hustle bustle and allowing people to mentally relax. The deduction is very prominent in this feature showing that the one who wants to know what's beyond this dense patch of vegetation and dares to explore will get to enjoy the calmness and peace in this space.

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