Osho Commune
Koregoan Park, Pune
Client , Bhagwan Rajneesh
Competed 1990
Principal Architect, Hafeez Contractor
Associate Architect, Vivek Verma
                                                                                                                      Click the photographs to view LARGE
 Osho Commune, Pune.
The Osho Commune nestled in the beautiful, green city of Pune is
the base from whence Bhagwan Rajneesh (who in his later years 
called himself 'Osho'), propagated his philosophical teachings upon
his return to India. The community, consisting of people from all over
the world lives in a closely protected environment. Osho himself was
accessible only to a favoured few and fiercely protected by loyal devo-
tees. The city of Pune was a perfect  choice for the Ashram owing to
its perfect climate which lasts almost throughout the year , its greenery
and the tolerant attitude of its inhabitants added to which its proximity to
Bombay was very convenient for the large number of foreign members
of the commune.

The project brief, handed over to us was as enigmatic as Osho himself.
After having submitted five to six alternatives, all of which were rejectedBlack Black and Black
by Osho, he sent us a big, thick book with a photograph, the size of a
postage stamp, on the cover, with the instructions, "Osho has asked you
to see this photograph, think, and then design our buildings". Accompa-
nying this was a small slip of paper on which was written : Black, Black
and Black. The photograph was of a barn shot at sunset. It was very dark
and there was just a little bit of a blue halo around the building. This was
all that was given to guide us in interpreting the requirements of design.

The brooding, black pyramidal forms conceived by Hafeez were radically
different from anything he had done before, the design for the commune
being a simple cluster of four buildings, relying on form and color for
impact. The pyramids act both as a perceptive experience and as a symbol
( the immediate perception of an image plus its mental associates ). Black
embodies all the colors, harnesses cosmic energy and the pyramid is
the most stable form. If these all black pyramids suggest rising energy and
an indrawn meditative posture, then the blue tinted glass windows and
skylights symbolize enlightenment : blue being the first color one perceives
on enlightenment- the halo of life.

The solid pyramids are large meditation halls with smaller halls below them. Pyramids at Osho Commune
The windows; clear glass with blue film, subdue and enrich the quality of
natural light inside the spacious meditation halls. The spatial experience
created is one of tranquillity, however, with a dynamic undertone like a
repetitive surge of charging energy. They are essentially simple, clean sp-
aces done up reasonably well with the flooring in agglomerated marble
and the walls in plaster of Paris, painted white. An L-shaped structure
houses residential spaces designed in the same clean style, consisting
essentially of small rooms with basic amenities like wardrobes, kitchene-
ttes, etc. The impact of the facade is heightened by the variations in the
depth of the black and in the textures of the different materials used. The walls of the pyramids are in semi-gloss black ceramic tiles with borders and corners in black granite. The windows have black aluminum framing around blue tinted glass, these architectural forms stand out against the rough black cuddupah paving and the greenery around a large tree near the entrance, shades the central open public space. It dominates the commune and visually holds the cluster of pyramids together.

Structurally each pyramid was conceived as a shell element resting on peripheral beams in turn resting on RC columns. The basic plan measured 16.75m x 16.75m and the pyramids were at an angle of 53.4 degrees, with the horizontal. There are six rectangular openings and one that is triangular. Stiffener RC beams are provided near the edges of openings, and the ridge lines of the pyramids are stiffened with MS channels.

A dirty municipal nallah on the site has now been converted into a lively water body with landscaping all around, providing a beautiful setting to the mystical pyramids.

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