Construction: building for a hundred years

The Europe Center extension project follows the values and good style typical of Diamond Way Buddhism – building without any debts and in a very short time; respecting the original buildings of Gut Hochreute; working mainly with local companies from the region; using natural materials like wood, glass, and concrete, with a focus on lasting quality (100 years!); and minimizing the impact on the environment.

The project has four main parts – constructing a new building for residents, guests, and seminars; reconstructing the barn to create a new big gompa and a huge common kitchen with a dinning room; and finally building a new working area and reshaping several outside areas. The construction itself adds up to over 4200 m2 of buildings and the outside landscaping projects will cover some 3000 m2 of land.

Explore the different parts below:

Barn reconstruction – new gompa, kitchen & more (1200 m2)

The 1st floor of the existing barn will take on the noblest function at the Europe Center – the gompa. With floor space of approx. 570 m2, there will be room to accommodate events with many hundreds of people.

Similarly, the large common kitchen in the lower ground floor with a 250m2 dining room will make it possible for many more people to eat together comfortably. Along with the big gompa upstairs, these facilities will enable the EC to host large events year-round without renting or building additional tents, toilets, etc. This is not possible at the moment, especially in winter. The International Summer Course – with several thousands of participants – should then remain the only event requiring extra infrastructure.

Less impact, more connection

Using local resources wherever possible is both ecological and energy saving. It is also a tribute to the former owners of Gut Hochreute who planted the forest 100 years ago. While harvesting the wood we will again plant new trees for generations to come.

New building for residents, guests & seminars (2500m2)

The L-shaped building of approx. 2500 m2 will provide a new space for residents and guests. The design of the building blends many years of experience from other live-in Diamond Way centers and state-of-the-art architecture. And consider this – it will be a concrete and wooden structure built partially with our own wood from the forest, thus saving on energy, transport and other costs.

Many factors have been taken into consideration – practicality for the residents, low impact on the environment (see the box), a style fitting the surroundings plus the existing monument-protected buildings of Gut Hochreute, and the ability to accommodate the great variety of activities at such a large international lay Buddhist center.

Working areas (500 m2)

Behind the current barn we will build workshops, tool shops, garages for light and heavy machinery, and storage areas.

This new building will blend in with its surroundings.  When arriving to the EC, one will see just a “garden wall,”  and from the hillside behind the barn only a subtle outline of the building covered by a green roof will be visible.

Outdoor works

The outside areas surrounding the new and old buildings of Gut Hochreute will be revitalized.  The main focus will be to preserve the natural characteristics and original charm of the grounds.  All environmental considerations will be discussed with specialists and approved by the local authorities.

Among the planned projects are:

  • landscaping & revitalization of outside areas (3000m2)
  • paths, terraces, squares & pergolas
  • a 150m2 dining terrace in front of the barn in the yard – imagine eating with friends in the comfortable shade of the old chestnut trees…
  • Mahakala house – the original ice house will become home to the main protector of our lineage
  • Mantra-wheel house – the current wood workshop will transform into a house holding a large mantra wheel. Turning such a wheel brings good impressions into the world and the minds of those who turn it.

House of the year

Dietrich I Untertrifaller has won the “House of the Year 2011” award from the largest German housing magazine Häuser with a house similar in style to the EC project. Read more (German only)

In great hands

The design of the new buildings is the work of Ronald Gnaiger and Helmut Dietrich of Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architechts in Bregenz, Austria. These world-class experts took great care to incorporate all our needs, wishes, and ideas—often far from “standard”—into practical, stylish, low-energy buildings that should easily withstand the bustle of the Europe Center.

On the side of the investor—the Diamond Way Buddhism Foundation—another experienced architect, Ronald Knaack from Hamburg, works as our representative. Apart from his professional career, Ronald was the main architect of the Hamburg Buddhist Center for many years and has been involved in many other Diamond Way projects.


  • Spring 2012 – getting the building permission
  • Autumn 2012 – bidding for suppliers
  • Spring 2013 & 2014 – main construction period: the large gompa, residential buildings, working areas and landscaping
  • Aug 2015 – Inauguration: a celebration of the moreEC completion at the International Summer Course



  • 2010 – mid 2011 – Preparation (project planning, architectural documentation, campaign preparation)
  • Aug 8, 2011 – moreEC fundraising campaign start & official launch of project on 2011-08-08 (at 00:08)
  • Aug 8 – Dec 31, 2011 – International fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise all of the 8 million Euros needed as direct donations and/or pledges to be given over the next 2.5 years. Without this the construction cannot start.


Last update: March 25, 2012
New big gompa
New building
Woking area
Outside work
Architect team
Project timeline

"We are building to last for one hundred years." Lama Ole Nydahl

© 2011 Diamond Way Foundation | Europe Center website