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project: aldo di domenico & spsk (auriemma, clemente, giannini, peiser, sisinni)


See also: Project finance A letter from our financial advisor



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See below for floor plans


Work continues at a calm but steady pace, without interruption. By now the main structural form of the building stands as it was conceived, and we should soon be able to make us of it.

Last October the new building received it's roof pinnacle, a beautiful three-metre high bronze stupa, sponsored and made in Thailand and flown over just in time for the Kathina ceremony. (Photos)

As work proceeds on site on internal walls, floor screed, electrical and plumbing installations the connecting footbridge, travertine floor tiles, windows and doors are being prepared in various workshops.

Within a few months it should be possible to start making use of the top floor meeting hall.

The most recent photos can be viewed from here.



Work on the temple continues. In the last few weeks the final elevations of the various levels have been determined with precision, and the actual construction of the building has begun. The lowest part of the foundation has been completed, and on the last day of the year the laying of concrete continued. The surface on which the building stands is almost completely filled with concrete and is ready for the next phase, which can proceed even in bad weather. The next steps will focus on completion of the foundations, the construction of another retaining wall and then going on to pillars and floors. Several photos of this recent stage can be viewed from here.


Work continues but fortunately has not been particularly noisy or disruptive to the peace of the monastery and the usual flow of daily life here. The 22 holes for the foundation posts have all been drilled, to a depth of 12 metres, and each hole has had 6 steel tubes of a diameter of 15 cm inserted, one after another and screwed together. They have then been filled with cement, under pressure, causing it to spurt out from valves along the sides of the steel pipes, thereby locking the structure very firmly into the ground. Building on a slope in a seismically active area necessitates such precautions. The next step is to build earth retaining walls, lay the foundation and then begin to build upwards. Some photos of this stage can be viewed from here.

While visiting Thailand Ajahn Jutindharo is arranging to have the roof pinnacle fabricated there. It will be in the form of a stupa, probably be made of copper, hollow inside to contain relics of highly-respected monks. When the time comes to officially inaugurate the building, the pinnacle will be lowered into place as part of the ceremony.



After many years of patiently accepting the seemingly glacial speed of the legal and bureaucratic process, it is very gratifying to witness the rapid progress that is now being made on the ground. In a little over a week the tufa-block outbuilding, the 'cantina', has been demolished and the rather extensive excavations - around 1,500 cubic metres of earth removed - have been completed. A selection of photos showing this first phase can be viewed from here. The next stage is the drilling of 22 holes to a depth of 12 metres, to be used for the reinforced concrete foundation posts.

With the funds already available, together with those pledged, about 90 per cent of the costs of the first phase has now been reached. The second and final phase should only cost a half the amount of the first phase, which means that about 60 per cent of the total cost has already been raised. Once the first phase has been completed it will be possible to take a pause before continuing, depending on the financial circumstances, and the second phase may be divided up into several stages that may be done as and when funds become available. In this way we can avoid getting into debt.

Our appreciation goes to all those who have contributed so far. Any further offerings, no matter how modest, will help towards the completion of the project.



After seemingly endless requests to provide various documents and certificates, we are now finally in possession of the building concession for the temple. We are especially grateful to the comune of Poggio Nativo, which has been very helpful and supportive right from the beginning, and to Reino and Pino, who have very ably taken the matter in hand in this recent crucial phase.

Work has begun as scheduled with the removal of the asbestos roof of the cantina. Our thanks go to all those who came out to help with the laborious process of removing the contents to Nirodha house.

The next stage will see the demolition of the cantina, once the area has been measured and fenced off. At the time of writing there is not a date yet fixed, but it is likely to begin within the next few weeks.



The working drawings have now reached a sufficiently detailed stage to allow the realization of a virtual model of the project. Realistic views of the future building from various perspectives, including the inside of the large meeting hall on the upper floor, have been extrapolated from this and many of them can be viewed here.

There continue to be promising signs that the bureaucratic process is moving forward, although we are still awaiting definite news. The health authority is expected to confirm by around mid-September that the building meets the required standards. By this time the working drawings and building plans should be reaching completion, and the process of tendering for bids can begin. We should soon be able to give much more information regarding the choice of styles and materials. The plan is to use a combination of geothermal and solar power to meet energy needs, while a tank on the lower floor will collect rain water from the roof for use in the bathrooms.



A geologist, Roberto Villa, and his team of collaborators, have finished their surveying and testing of the land where the temple is to be constructed and their report of the results has been consigned to our group of architects. On the basis of this report an engineer, Francesco Accorsi, has calculated a plan for the overall structure from the foundations to the roof. This has been discussed with the team of technical experts and the plans are about to be submitted to the Public Works Office. It should then be possible to finalize the detailed design, which will be used to invite building companies to tender their bids, which should take place around the end of April. By this time the detailed architectural design - which has already begun - should be completed, and then plumbing, heating and lighting systems can be planned. If required, permits will also be sought from the Health Authority and Fire Service. In the coming days there will also be a meeting with the regional authorities to seek permission for demolishing the old storage building and workshop.



We have received the official documents pertaining to the approval by the Building Commission and the District Council for our temple project. A geologist has just begun a detailed study of the land, which involves drilling a hole to a depth of 35 metres. This is important because we are in a seismically active area, and the design of the foundations will depend on the results of this study. Once this is completed the architects can develop the detailed building specifications and then invite tenders from building companies. Everything is going according to schedule and before too long the actual work should begin. Further developments will be communicated on the News page of this website.



Santacittarama's temple project was presented to the council administration of Poggio Nativo and has been approved. The structure will fit into an area already designated as a place of religious practice, situated to the left of the blue line in the above drawing. Now begins a development phase that involves a detailed elaboration of the project in all its various aspects. The main hurdle has been overcome and now the plans needs to be assessed by the fire service, the health authority and the public works office, to ensure that various safety standards are met. First of all there will be a geological analysis of the land to be built on, and this will largely determine important choices regarding the structure. As this is a seismically active area we need to ensure that the structure will be resistant to earth tremors.

The top floor will be a large meditation hall, about 225 sq.m floor space - twice as big as the tent that we have been using the last fifteen years - at the same level as the tent and connected by a bridge. The floor below this will have a smaller multi-purpose meeting room, a library and bathrooms. A section of the same floor will have an apartment with rooms for several monks. The lowest floor contains a workshop and large storage space.

It is too early to say when work will actually begin, but around April 2014 is feasible, and the plan is to bring it to completion within two years. We will soon add information about the financial situation and how one may contribute to the project.

Project finance: A letter from our financial advisor