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ART OF LIVING

Relevance: Spatial planning in site level except the industrial zone and the importance given to landscape to achieve peaceful ambience within the site. Introduction: Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living Foundation is a notfor-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organisation operates globally in 152 countries. The organisation's programs are guided by Sri Sris philosophy of peace: Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world Peace. To help individuals get rid of stress and experience inner peace, The Art of Living offers stresselimination programs which include breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. These programs have helped millions around the world to overcome stress, depression and violent tendencies. Location: Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth, Kanakapura Road, Udayapura, Bangalore 82. Access Road: NH 209. Area: 800 acres Guests: 45% Foreigners

Daily Basis capacity: 10,000 people Focus: Inner peace and Violence free society Maximum number of floors: G +5 floors (Vishalakshi Mantap) Faade: Plastered brick walls. Form: Common areas: cubes and cuboids articulated with a small dome for common areas like atrium. Vishalakshi Mantap and Sumeru Mantap: Form is evolved from lotus. Panchakarma (Rejuvenation centre): Kerala style.

Materials: Materials used are brick, cement, marble and mosaic. P.O.P is used for detailing. Redox and marble are used in most of the spaces for flooring. Furnitures are made of wood. Spatial planning: The site is divided into four zones. These zones are separated by gates. The first zone is the old ashram where all the required spaces are in a smaller scale. There is a separate meditation space called the Sumeru Mantap which gives an amazing view of the landscaped site and the other neighbouring area. There is also a separate hall used for various personal occasions like weddings. This zone was the main ashram once. And so the gate 1 was the main gate to the ashram from the highways.

Later as expanded the site has zoned and separated by various gates. At present the sevaks and long term residents have stay there with all their amenities well provided.

The second zone comprises of the small meditation halls, Vedic school, accommodation and other amenities for students and short term guests and sevaks. For the residential students spaces are provided with average facilities like dormitories for stay, clinic and common mess for students and guests. It also has a kitchen, where the food for the visitors is done. Capacity on a daily basis will be for 10,000 people.

The third zone comprises of the accommodation for guests who come for sessions and other activists, rejuvenation centre, two gardens with quarters for counselling, huge garden with a lake for meditation, meditation hall (Vishalakshi Mantap) and amphitheatre that has capacity of 20,000 people during satsang.

The fourth zone comprises of the administrative block, canteen, ATM, shops for traditional gift items and art works, and a recently constructed huge semi enclosed steel structure (auditorium) with the capacity of 7000 people for occasional meetings. The last gate (gate no. 5) is the main entrance to the ashram from Kanakapura road. Apart from these zones there are various buildings constructed within the site and far off from the ashram. These buildings include cow shed, and industrial spaces like publication division, medical division and other products made for sale.

Height: Spaces are well designed in volume depending on the function of the space. The meditation halls are provided with high ceilings which is an essential factor for those spaces. Vishalakshi Mantap is the only structure that has the maximum height of 23m (756), with Kalash height being 4.5m (153) rest of the structures varies from 3m to 12m high.

Features: Lot of openings are provided. Maximum use of colours like beige, brown, white and off white. Design integration with landscape. Lotus symbol utilised for the evolution of the concept in various spaces. Lighting plays a vital role in every space. Natural lighting and ventilation are additional factors that provide a peaceful atmosphere.

Views: landscaped areas for relaxing.

The Panchakarma/The spa is located near the guest accommodation block. In spite of being within the same zone as the Vishalakshi Mantap they are separated with a gate. The Panchakarma is a mode of relaxation for the guests. The surroundings and the form support the function of the Ayurveda centre. The Kalyan Mantap is located in the old ashram zone. It is a small scale community hall used for occasions like weddings to be celebrated for the residents and any guests who prefer.

It is closer to the Sumeru Mantap and it creates its own boundary with landscape which also acts as a buffer zone.

Services: Water supply is provided from ground water as well corporation water. 60% of the electricity is extracted from the solar power. There is a separate transformer yard within the site from which electricity is passed on to the various distribution boards within the four zones. Wastes from the kitchen are recycled with their separate recycling plant which recycles waste in a more natural way. Provisions for R.O plant and sewage treatment plant are also given.

Inference: The site is located in a calm area which is accessed easily as it is at the 21 st km from the Kanakapura town. But since the site is huge accessibility within the site is difficult without a vehicle.

Consideration toward physically challenged are not given during the design process. Separate training centre for kids play a varied part when compared to the other similar buildings. Importance given to nature to attain peace is an important factor followed throughout the design process. Due to lot of buffer spaces the premises remain silent and the functions of the spaces are well considered while designing. Spaces are provided with fine facilities in a low budget. Importance is given to comfort level of the person rather than the luxury factor.

Other references: http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/overview