Project: Science of the Soul Study Centre (SSSC)

Gross Area: 7006m²

Year: 2013 - current

Status: Stage 1 South Block construction

Role: Design collaboration with SSSC

Science of the Soul Study Centre (SSSC)

The concept design consists of a main hall and two wing buildings i.e. the north and south block. I was involved in the design collaboration with SSSC and the community to achieve Resource Consent and developed design. 

A design of simplicity and symmetry defines the essence of the architecture. This reflects a solid foundation in life with spiritual integrity, which aligns with the basis of SSSC whose members practice meditation.   

The site, located at 315 Ihumatao Rd, Auckland consists of a 9 hectares land which is adjacent to the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve and is part of a significant heritage of landscapes that encompasses the Stonefields, Puketutu Island, Ambury Park, Mangere Mountain, the remains of an early mission station and village and historic farmsteads. Due to the heritage values of the site and context, we were in consultations with the local iwi/ hapu and the archaeologist. The consultant team we were co-ordinating with included the private planner, civil engineer, geotechnical engineer and landscape architect. 

The architecture is designed to be in harmony with the landscape, with careful consideration to avoid areas of highest cultural and archaeological significance and also existing overland flow path, and as a response to the environmental context such as prevailing winds and maximizing natural daylighting.  

The main hall consists of a large hall for spiritual discourses and a semi-enclosed open space for circulation with wide verandahs surrounding the building. The entrance of the main hall faces a large courtyard space encroached by two wing buildings; one on each side of the courtyard. 

The library and dormitory facilities for volunteers are located at the north block which is next to the Otuataua Stonefields Reserve and is further away from the main Ihumatao Road. This would provide a more conducive environment for the functions as it would be a quieter space compared to the south block. 

The more communal activities of dining and kitchen and family areas are located at the south block which is closer to the Ihumatao Road. 

Despite the complex nature of the project, as a collaborative team effort on voluntary basis, we obtained Resource Consent without much conflict. Building Consent documentation was delegated to an external consultant. At this stage, Building Consent have been obtained and construction work for Stage 1 South Block to proceed.