Karuna Home is a centre in south India where, in addition to free board and lodging, the physically and/or mentally disabled could also receive special education, vocational training and medical care. This project is the realization of a vision of Lama Khube Rinpoche in which the principal architect of AR43, Cheng Kooi volunteered to undertake in the master planning and design.
Karuna Home which means welfare home with compassion was specially named by His Holiness on the 13th of July 2000 in support of this project. The Home was officially inaugurated and blessed by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, on the 3rd of December 2004.
The home comprises nine buildings that housed the medical and administrative facilities, school and training classrooms, canteen and kitchen, dormitories, staff quarters and living quarters for a doctor, therapists, volunteers and visiting donors.
The Karuna Home accepts the young physically and/or mentally disabled, regardless of race and religion. Some of their patients have severe disabilities and have been turned away by other centers. In that sense the Karuna Home, symbolizes hope and more importantly a remedy for the problems that these special group of people face.
The building was built with practicality as the focus of it. However, that does not necessarily mean that good design was being compromised. There is a strong sense of vernacularism in the architecture of the building in terms of the way it is being constructed and the materiality that is being used. The spaces within the home are being arranged such that they create an environment of tranquility by harnessing the scenic views of the surrounding natural environment.
The home has since matured, and is now better equipped. The intake of patients have also increased in numbers. Many of the earlier patients have made tremendous progress under the love and care of Karuna Home.
Photographs courtesy of Karuna Home