Mission Retreat Centre

Mission, British Columbia, Canada

This commission is for the master planning and design of a new retreat centre atop the foothills of Mission, British Columbia overlooking the Fraser Valley.  Sponsored by the Buddhist Church the Mission Retreat Centre aspires to create a full retreat, education and worship centre with guest facilities and retreat bungalows.  Situated on a pristine 150 acre site with an existing heritage age farm and farm buildings, the intent in the planning was to leave as much of the existing site and natural features untouched building only in existing open space.  

The heritage farm and buildings would be refurbished and reused as short term residence and carpentry shops.

The program calls for a regional architectural design approach in largely wood frame and heavy timber construction.  Two phases are planned for; the first phase being the education retreat on the south edge of the site overlooking the valley, and a second phase which will be the long term retreat and monastic quarters.

Phase 1 includes education buildings, administration offices, communal dining hall, meditation and multi-purpose hall, monks cottages, and short stay living units for visitors.  The communal program elements are planned and linked by open covered walkways around an artificial water body supplied from captured rain water run off from buildings.  This natural cistern acts as a filtration area for garden agricultural use on the farm. This provides an enhanced environmental experience.  Building scale, geometry, and groupings are particularly controlled to create heightened experiences in and around the facility for the users.

Phase 2 which is intended to be separate and more remote from the public provides facilities for guests and members of the faith embarking on longer term retreats and education and included residential rooms, meditation and worship hall, communal dining and support, library and administration.