In 2014, Yasodhara Ashram, a yoga retreat and study centre in Kootenay Bay, B.C., lost its temple in a fire. The blaze was devastating, but it presented an opportunity to build something better. In June 2018, the ashram community celebrated the opening of its new Temple of Light, designed by Vancouver firm Patkau Architects and situated on the footprint of the original sanctuary. The nearly 11-metre-high dome comprises eight sweeping “petals” made of engineered timber and arranged like a flower that’s about to bloom. Glass panels demarcate the spaces between the petals, which are set at irregular angles to mitigate the acoustic problems – echoes, harmonic resonances – so often associated with dome-shaped spaces. Like nature itself, the building is both structurally sophisticated and undeniably beautiful.
Project Temple of Light Location Kootenay Bay, British Columbia, Canada Firm Patkau Architects, Canada Team John Patkau, Patricia Patkau and Luke Stern with Mike Green, John Lacy, Thomas Schroeder, Peter Suter, Eric Karsh, Mary On, Ivan Lee, Lorne Ricketts, John Paone and Ted Hall Photo Dan Séguin