Yasodhara Ashram’s Temple of Light was named as a 2019 Wood Design Awards winner for its innovative use of wood. (Photo submitted)

Yasodhara Ashram’s Temple of Light was named as a 2019 Wood Design Awards winner for its innovative use of wood. (Photo submitted)

Ashram temple wins design award

In front of an audience of more than 400 architects and engineers at the Vancouver Convention Centre earlier in March, the Yasodhara Ashram’s Temple of Light was named as a 2019 Wood Design Awards winner for its innovative use of wood. The awards are sponsored by Wood WORKS! BC.

Patkau Architects of Vancouver, a world-renowned design firm, was the award’s recipient.

“We are delighted that Patkau Architects is being honoured with the Wood Innovation Award for the Temple of Light,” Swami Lalitananda, president of the ashram, said last week. “We were initially attracted to their work by their curved designs, which are unusual in architecture. Their talent, together with the expertise of our Kootenay neighbours, Spearhead, who fabricated the complex modules that comprise the Temple, has expanded cutting edge architectural and construction knowledge.”

The new Temple of Light opened last summer, four years after the original temple was damaged beyond repair by a fire.

The complex, curvilinear geometry of the Temple of Light was achieved with relatively modest means and conventional building materials by fabricating its sweeping petal-like forms utilizing principally straight engineered timber elements. The straight members are arranged along continuously sweeping rule lines that reside on the dome’s petal-like surfaces. These straight members also provide a natural division seam and robust connection plate that facilitated subdividing the larger, wood-framed petal shells into modular components.

Each sub-panel was manufactured in Nelson to a high degree of precision off-site using modern digital manufacturing methods in custom, reusable jigs with knock-outs that allow the completed, convex frames to be released once assembled. The pre-clad sub-panels were then shipped to the site, efficiently assembled to enclose the domed primary worship space, and sealed. This unusual wood construction technique enabled this project to be executed on a tight budget, in a remote location, using local trades with remarkable results. The complex play of light and sound on the temple’s evocative, curvilinear wood-framed surfaces confounds the relative simplicity concealed within. This structure is designed to consume a low amount of energy, owing to its high-performance building envelope, efficient glazing, geothermal system and adjacent photovoltaic array.

“When the first Temple burned in 2014, we wanted to keep the important elements of Swami Radha’s vision: the domelike structure, the eight entries, the skylight at the centre, and the large windows overlooking Kootenay Lake,” Swami Lalitananda said. “We envisioned the new Temple as being more organic and spiralling in form, though we did not know how that could happen. We are pleased that the architects were able to maintain the original vision while innovating to create this lotus-like space.

“The eight doors of the Temple represent diverse paths into the unity of Light at the centre, where the rise of the dome and the skylight create a sense of uplifting transcendence.”

Among the many Kootenay contractors who were part of the Temple of Light construction was Creston’s Tratech Mechanical Ltd., Traven Huscroft’s plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company.

The Temple of Light is open to visitors from 9-5 daily. Taste of the Ashram is a program held throughout the year that offers a yoga class, lunch, and tour, including the Temple of Light. Check our website to learn more www.yasodhara.org

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Creston Valley Farmers’ Market will be opening for the outdoor season this weekend. (File Photo)
A new season at the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market begins

Opening day will be on Saturday, April 24

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

Frisky Whisky has closed its doors to the public under public health orders. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Cocktail lounge in Creston gets creative to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions

Frisky Whisky is now offering a lunch takeout menu and take-home cocktail kits

(Pixabay)
Earth Day: Creston Climate Action asks residents to join the conversation on climate change

In celebration of Earth Day, local Creston Climate Action group is inviting… Continue reading

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2017. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt win historic decision at Supreme Court of Canada

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. (Destination B.C.)
‘Stay local’: B.C. tourism groups back COVID-19 travel ban

Fast-spreading variants make non-essential travel too risky

Nic Hume and his fellow paramedic stopped to rescue the victim of an Oak Bay hit-and-run – a duck – at the end of their shift Thursday morning. (Nic Hume/Facebook)
B.C. paramedics don’t duck a chance to help someone in need

Ambulance duo end a long shift by helping a distressed duck in Victoria suburb

As the snow in Manning Park melts, searchers are able to get a little farther each day. Photo submitted
Family resumes search for son missing in B.C.’s Manning park since October

‘This is our child, and we don’t give up on our children,’ said mother of Jordan, Josie Naterer

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada buys 65M Pfizer booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deal with Pfizer includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

The Sandhill Cranes had been feeding in a slough near the railway tracks and took flight when were disturbed by atrain. Bob Whetham photo
Urban wildlife Part X: The Kootenay birds of 2021

The work of local photographers in the Kootenay Advertiser in 2021. Part X. With links to Parts I-IX

Most Read