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A new Buddhist centre for London

The Beaufoy Institute

The work to convert the Beaufoy Institute into our Buddhist centre, to restore and to conserve it will see the Beaufoy Institute once again in its former glorious state, within the current regulations, use requirements and sustainability policies. The planning application has now been approved by Lambeth Council – see our Diamond Way Buddhism UK Blog for more details.

The Beaufoy Institute is a grade II listed building, constructed in 1907 by Mark Hanbury Beaufoy. It has a rich history and is itself an important part of Lambeth. However, the Institute has been unused for many years and has been placed on English Heritage’s “Buildings at Risk Register”.

A Buddhist centre at the Beaufoy Institute will be a meeting point for local people, Londoners and visitors from the UK and abroad, where everyone is welcome. Diamond Way Buddhism have now bought the Beaufoy Institute for our new Buddhist centre, which will be – like London itself – a vibrant place for people to exchange ideas, learn and benefit each other.

After consultation with the community and the historical buildings officer, the planning application for what will be London’s largest Buddhist centre was approved, and we’re now planning how the Lambeth community might use the Buddhist centre, and ideas for the renovation and interior design of the Beaufoy.

View of the Beaufoy Institute from the corner of Black Prince Road and Vauxhall Street

Artist’s impression of the Beaufoy Institute, as seen from the corner of Black Prince Road and Vauxhall Street

The design proposal will ensure that the listed building – the Institute proper – is fully respected. Minimal changes are proposed to the original listed building.

To the rear of the Institute an extension is proposed to get more light into the inner spaces with an additional extended rear garden.

In the Annex, the proposal is to create residential accommodation for members of the Buddhist community, who communally share the ground floor kitchen/dining/social space with members and all visitors to the Buddhist centre.

This reflects the community approach that Diamond Way Buddhist centres use. The aim of the proposal is to achieve optimal energy performance, maximising passive and active methods to create the best sustainable development possible given the limitations of the Beaufoy building and its listed features.

The renovation of the Beaufoy Institute will be completed in a number of stages:

Our first priority is to get the Beaufoy safe and ready for visitors so that we can open the centre for meditation sessions as quickly as possible. It will take, hopefully, around three months to make the building ready, during which time we will be renovating rooms for the first Beaufoy residents. Then it will take around nine months to complete Phase One, where the Beaufoy’s meditation hall, café, the charity’s offices and around twelve bedrooms will be built.

Phase Two will involve building further bedrooms to fill the annex of the Beaufoy Institute and Phase Three will be to extend the building at the back, as seen in the plans below.

To the rear of the Beaufoy Institute we propose to create a garden and provisions for car parking including disabled and bicycle spaces accessed from Black Prince Road.

The Beaufoy Institute as seen from the rear - aerial view

Artist’s impression of the rear of the Beaufoy Institute

Further developments with the Beaufoy Institute and details of the designs and plans will feature on our Beaufoy Blog.