The New Kadampa Tradition is a registered charity and international organisation which aims to provide people with access to Buddhist mindfulness, meditation, and methods that will help them to discover inner peace and happiness in their modern lives. Kadampa Meditation Centre Glasgow was established in 2013, and currently operates from their peaceful sanctuary in Glasgow’s Merchant City. However, they have outgrown their current space and wish to expand their offering.

Design Approach

The new meditation centre will be a dedicated, fit-for-purpose refurbishment and fit-out of a vacant retail unit at 2 Blackfriars Road in Glasgow and aspires to create a tranquil, welcoming environment. Located in the heart of a busy urban context, the centre will provide respite and calm for the activities and users of the centre.

It signifies the expansion of KMCG as a business through the provision of a larger meditation space and improved public offering, including a café and bookshop. It will also house improved office facilities and a teacher preparation space, offering multiple classes for up to 100 participants 7 days a week, as well as children’s classes and parent and tots classes .

The proposed double-height shopfront glazing offers a high degree of visibility into the centre from the street, encouraging passers-by to drop in. This glazing will feature brise soleil, providing both interest to the façade and sun shading to the interior where required, and is framed in bronze aluminium fins, which give the façade depth and rhythm. Areas of solid façade are clad in scalloped, stone-coloured terracotta, adding a rich texture, referencing the traditional sandstone buildings of the surrounding context, and tying in with a circular motif that features throughout the interior design. This layering will help to signify the space as a modern, contemporary centre, while providing connectivity between users of the centre and the public outside.

The aspiration to create a new cafe and shop offering within the Kadampa Meditation Centre will also assist with broadening the organisation’s reach and presence in the city, through providing an inviting, comfortable and social space that is accessible to people in Glasgow.

Entry to the centre will be through the café/shop, which will be housed alongside meditation spaces on the ground floor, acoustically separate but maintaining a strong visual connection. The mezzanine will house the office facilities and support, all of which will be visible through a glazed curtain wall to the High Street.

Traditional Buddhist features fundamental to the Kadampa identity including a shrine and Dharma wheel, with space retained for future auspicious symbols, and complimented by a contemporary design approach.

High quality lighting, acoustics and digital connectivity will support the centre’s ambition to be a modern and accessible space, while air quality, aided by filtration, will increase the comfort of users. Lighting on the shrine will be continuous, acting as a beacon for passing footfall on the busy High Street through the ‘shop window’.

The interiors will promote a calming environment, strongly influenced by nature and reflecting this in the colour scheme of greens, wood and other neutral tones. Tree planter seating will sit centrally to the café, providing users with the benefits of biophilia which reinforce wellness through connectivity to the natural world.

Andrew Hadden, Associate, commented;

“It has been a pleasure working with such an interesting client. The new Kadampa Meditation Centre will allow their organisation to grow, in a welcoming and purpose-built environment, that will strengthen their presence within the Glasgow community.”

The new shopfront premises offer an opportunity to establish a strong and visible urban presence in Glasgow City Centre, allowing the centre to communicate their identity and activities with a larger number of people and engage with a wider community.

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