The Community Centre
BIRMINGHAM BUDDHIST MAHA VIHARA BUILDING DEVELOPMENT
The Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara recently obtained planning permision to build the largest Buddhist Maha Vihara in Europe. The Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara was established in 1992 by Ven. Dr. Witharandeniye Kassapa (O.B.E.) the present chief incumbent of the Maha Vihara. He is also the President of the Midlands International Buddhist Association in the U.K. and the International Buddhist Relief Organisation (I.B.R.O.), which is affiliated to the United Nations. The images show the Prince of Wales awarding the O.B.E. to Ven.Dr. Witharandeniye Kassapa and recieving an ward by his excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa ,the President of Sri Lanka.
The Maha Vihara is uniquely located off Hockley Circus at 216 New John Street west Hockley Birmingham B19 3UA. It is bordering Farm Street to the North end New John Street to the West. To the East is a combination of low rise and multi-storey high rise residential blocks, while to the South is a row of commercial units.
The prominent location of the site is ideal for the New community centre, which can serve the community through it’s multi-faith and multi-cultural programmes.
Birmingham is a diverse city with a number of multi- cultural and religious buildings. The development looks to build on the 20 years of service by improving the quality of the spaces and facilities to ensure it is well placed to serve the community for the foreseeable future.
The ‘stupa’ is clearly the most prominent element of the scheme and symbolises the teachings of the Buddha. The shape of the ‘stupa’ has been interpreted in different countries in a number of ways. In Sri Lanka the dome is constructed out of half a sphere with a number of cuboid forms above this which is capped by a conical spire. This form symbolises the path to attaining Nirvana or Enlightenment.
The entrance to the centre is capped with a traditional ‘Kandyan’ roof which is typical of Sri Lankan architecture. The best examples of the correct proportions of such roofs are to be found, unsurprisingly, in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The most sacred site for Buddhists in Sri Lanka is the Temple of the Tooth, where you can find a series of these roofs. It is proposed that traditional architectural details are borrowed, modernised and simplified to ensure that the Srilankan Buddhist architecture is well expressed in the heart of England.
The Maha Vihara delivers number of Buddhist practisings and community service activities. This will be done through Buddhist teachings, sermons, meditation, community service, retreats and projects that preserve the tradition. The new Community Centre will be an ideal place for practising Buddha Dhamma and will have complementary activities such as meditation classes, workshops and room for individual contemplation.
Following facilities are included within the development:
- Multi-function Hall Shrine Room (within the ‘stupa’)
- Memorial Hall (Korean Community)
- Devala (Hindu Shrine)
- General Dining
- Special Dining Room
- 4 En-suite Bedrooms
- 1 En-suite Accessible Room
- 1 Head Priest en-suite Room
- Common Room
- Community Kitchen Facility
- Reception & Offi ce
- Male, Female and DDA WCs
- Lift Access to all floors
- Parking spaces within grounds
- General storage spaces
The cost of this project has been estimated as 2 million pounds. We appreciate your generous contributions towards this worthy course.