The architect contest for the Europe Center gompa was initiated in Kassel 2007 and 13 different suggestions came in from countries as different as Poland, Guatemala, Austria, South Africa, England and Germany. A working group of five architects defined the needs and wishes for the new gompa along with Lama Ole and Caty. Four projects were invited to work further on their projects after the first round. Now, last Saturday in the Europe Center was the big day when the over-all winner of the contest would be found. In front of a jury of Lama Ole, Caty, Woitek Kossowski, Ronald Knaack and Philip Leube, the for remaining groups from Hamburg, Buxtehude, Middle Germany (Team Mitte) and Dornbirn in Austria each presented their visions of the new construction with drawings, models, and slides in the living room of the lama flat. All suggestions contained many great elements, but the jury’s choice fell on the remarkable construction from the Team Mitte group. Lama Ole called the architecture of this specific gompa spectacular and timeless and said several times that the shape reminds him of a cobra. The Team Mitte group consisting of Michael from Braunschweig, Gerrit from Kiel/Immenstadt and Till from Hannover had stayed at the EC for several weeks as preparation, meditated on the hills for the best inspiration and worked intensively day and in the end also night and they had good reason to celebrate. On Sunday, all architects from the four groups worked together in the best possible spirit to find the best solutions for all the areas of the Europe Center and the final plan for the whole area will contain elements from all four projects. Even Lama Ole contributed to the plans with his idea of a café at the entrance to greet all our guests
After five days of rain, the sun shone again and outside the work on the garage roof continued and after the contest with the help of Ole with a big hammer in his hand. On the big meadows behind the houses Andre and Dieter began making flatter plateaus for our big tents for the summer course and Lama Ole enjoyed a ride in one of the big machines Monday afternoon. A lot of gravel was also moved on the hills to the Europe Center to secure the road.
During the weekend, our happy bar was moved outside into the garage and there is less noise in front of the dormitories in the evening. For the weekend, we had groups of Dutch, Austrians, Swiss and Slovakian friends. Altogether we counted 12 nationalities. Eugene and Lara from Colorada left us today after five wonderful days.
Work to restore the damaged corner of the big dining room on the ground floor of the villa began Monday.