One of the exciting things about our niche offering (interior design and space management for quiet rooms, prayer rooms, yoga and meditation rooms, prayer space and multi-faith areas, as well as home sanctuaries, quiet pods and chill out areas) is that we are approached by such a variety of clients that it keeps us on our toes and makes our work exciting. We get to work with pioneering managers with great visions who really want to make a difference, and as that is part of our mission, it is a perfect match!
This month we have been working with a university who are in planning stages for the new build of a new multi-faith centre for their students. We have been invited to support the architects to arrange the layout, flow and design of this proposed area. I am so excited, as each time we have met, the plans have evolved massively, and this week we cracked it – we now have the perfect solution for all faith groups to co-use a small area harmoniously, a seamless design and exceptional work by Heath Avery Architects.
These are some of the things we have been able to include:
- Separate washing facilities for male and female Muslim students to perform ‘wudu’ (ablutions) before prayer
- Separate entrances for men and women to enter the prayer room from the back
- A bi-folding door which can open the space up to allow for larger congregational prayers on Fridays
- Secure locker areas for students’ backpacks
- Shoe store with good ventilation
- A quiet contemplation area / group meeting room
- Storage for religious materials, holy books and meditation cushions
- A library area – for inspirational reading material
- A social meeting area with AV for teaching and discussions
- A kitchenette for social meetings
We are currently in discussion to source funding for a beautiful piece of artwork to give the area a wow factor and make sure it doesn’t look like a lecture room!
My work has also included guiding the team to put together and clarify their aims and objectives as to what they want from this space, and for guidance on attaining funding sources. I am looking forward to the evolution of this project and will definitely keep you posted. Finding a good design solution for this “problem” (meeting a diversity of needs in one small space) is both complex and challenging, but most of all, exciting!
At last I feel like I am being of service to the interfaith philosophy, ‘Many ways, One truth,’ respect and reverence for all paths, including space for those who have no path and just want to be.