Work advances on 'peace palace' in Rendlesham
A transcendental meditation centre is taking shape in a Suffolk village.
External work is well under way on the £3.5million Maharishi Peace Palace in Rendlesham.
When it opens, the site will be dedicated to teaching transcendental meditation, including consciousness-based education and natural health care known as AyurVeda.
Permission was granted in 2008 for the Maharishi Foundation to develop a residential venue teaching the techniques of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Richard Johnson, Rendlesham resident and national director of the foundation, said work was progressing well on the development, being built by construction firm RG Carter.
“It’s all going very much to programme,” said Mr Johnson. “The foundations and the ground floor are being put in place, and structural supports for the ground and first floor are going up.”
A purpose-built successor to the TM Academy, which operated for more than 25 years in Badingham, it will be the centrepiece of Rendlesham’s Garden Village – one of the largest Vedic architecture settlements of its kind.
Mr Johnson said: “Everything has gone very smoothly so far. We put the application in as long ago as 2008 and the building design hasn’t really changed, apart from a few little changes made to ensure we could start building as soon as possible.”
Completion of the main building, which will include a central hall, meeting rooms and a range of other facilities, is expected by next June, with the official opening scheduled for September 2016.
The centre will offer both beginner and advanced courses in transcendental meditation, along with a programme of community events. Developers are keen to hear from local groups interested in using the building as a venue.
“Our aim and purpose is creating peace,” said Mr Johnson. “Now it’s on the horizon, we are thrilled with the prospect of having this available. Lots of contributors have given financially, and leant their expertise, to make his happen.”
A natural health spa is due to open on the site before the 30-bedroom main building begins accommodating guests. The foundation will also be linking up with the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa to offer oversees degree courses.
Former Foster and Partners architect D’Arcy Fenton is overseeing the project design, alongside local consultant John Renwick and project artist David Williams.