In 2013 Walters & Cohen won a competition run by the London Buddhist Centre to redesign Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre in Suffolk.
The architects responded to the client’s vision guided by a quest for beauty in buildings that would integrate with the Suffolk countryside and deliver an atmosphere of simplicity, reverence, contemplation, peace, wellbeing and community.
Simple materials and local techniques create a balance between a modest architecture and the spiritual spaces.
The project was named RIBA East’s Building of the Year 2017 and has won several other awards: an AJ Architecture Award, a RIBA East Award, a RIBA National Award and an Honor Award at the Faith & Form/IFRAA Awards 2017. In 2018 it won a Civic Trust Award and was shortlisted for their Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design.
Working in collaboration with Studio Fernando Gutiérrez, we developed an elegant signage system perfectly suited to the centre. We also worked with Phil Surey who carved words of faith into the base of the stone Stupa – a Buddhist feature central to the meditative practice at the retreat.