Why would we blog about furniture? After all we are Buddhists and not collectors of antique furniture. What does the Europe Center have to do with furniture and what is it all about anyway?
On the one hand it is about friendship, internationality, about connections. It is a melting pot of all our condensed center experience and it is a place where friends from different cultures meet and learn from each other. On the other hand the Europe Center is a beautiful more than 100 year old building. Every little last detail in the house was given great attention while designing and building it. We keep alive the awareness and the care that the original architect put into this house. We make it our everyday awareness training and thus into living Buddhism. The care that was put into the planning itself clearly shows in the way the rooms on the ground floor are designed: the architect’s original idea was to connect the different rooms by repeating colors and picking up design elements.
In the early days of the EC the yellow room was the place for transmission and long nights with many friends but after many decades of use the yellow furniture was finally due for restoration.
After years of searching we found very skilled craftsmen to restore the furniture in the traditional way it was done a hundred years ago. As it is under monumental protection they used original materials like horse hair and shellac finish. It was a blessing to find Max in Graz for the restoration of the wood and Hendrik in Kiel for the upholstery, using fabric from a sangha friend in Munich. On top even friends from Budapest helped out with the transport.
Today, the new fabric is shiny grey in color and is of modern make. In this way we pick up the original design idea with a modern twist. We are very thankful to Hendrik and Max for all the countless hours of work and we will hopefully use the furniture for another hundred years.