Stefano Boeri unveils Buddhist prayer centre in Nepal

Images courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti
The design has been unveiled for a regeneration and preservation project at the Ramagrama Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage site and archaeological area.

Located on the banks of the Jharahi River in western Nepal, the Ramagrama Stupa features a hill and a centuries-old tree, under which lies an intact portion of the relics of Buddha.

The new design was created by Italian architect Stefano Boeri Architetti and contains a central meadow, 600m in diameter, surrounded by a ring containing areas for culture, prayer and meditation, covered by a Biodiversity Ring Garden.

The Biodiversity Ring Garden is a slope with 80,000 plants of 70 different species, from the Terai plain, the birth place of Buddha.

It ends in a circular elevated pathway shaded by trees, offering views over the Ramagrama Stupa for monks and visitors throughout the day in all seasons.

The new facilities will maintain a safe distance from the archaeological remains, in case future researchers need to access the site.

All buildings will be made from local materials.

The project is designed to meet Unesco standards, with the Ramagrama Stupa added to Unesco’s World Heritage Tentative List in 1996.

The design of the development references the work of Kenzo Tange, who masterplanned the Lumbini Museum in 1978.

Stefano Boeri said: “This project represents an extraordinary challenge for us: that of creating a meaningful center for prayer, meditation and peace in one of the most sacred sites of Buddhism.

“Respecting the very rich symbolism of Buddhist scriptures, we proposed the creation of a large Biodiversity Garden Ring around the Ramagrama Stupa with a high level of biodiversity in terms of plant species.

“It will surround the Peace Meadow, a wide gathering and meditation area for the thousands of monks, pilgrims and visitors who will approach the Bodhi Tree and the Stupa.”

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