Overview of all major ongoing works at Matrimandir
- By Matrimandir Executives
- as published in the News & Notes of 30 July 2005
The Inner Chamber was closed in March for improvements; we are trying to complete the work in September, and reopen it for limited access. Johnny & his team of volunteers are working there with great care, following Piero's plans. The crystal and its stand haven't been moved and are well protected as are Mother's symbol, the carpet and the columns.
A large aluminium scaffolding (15 m high) stands in the middle of the chamber to give access to the central hole in the ceiling which is being modified. This work includes the re-painting of the entire ceiling. Vladimir & team will soon commission the new more efficient AC plant.
Top of Matrimandir : Gerard M. is back, executing with his team, Piero's modifications. Though much of the work has already been accomplished, there is still a lot to do – such as installing a new crane (custom-made in stainless steel, in Germany ), which won't be visible when folded.
Other works inside Matrimandir are also progressing well. Pierre & team are completing the final detailed marble work while Perumal, Sukrit & team are working on the twin spiral ramps and Sergei & team are progressing steadily with the inner skin. As the temporary handrails and floor panels of both spiral ramps have now been removed, a new temporary staircase had to be built to access Chamber and area above it.
Outer face: Dirk & Walter's team will complete the water-proofing membrane on the North half before the end of August and will then shift to the SW quadrant. Paneer & team are re-installing the discs in the NE quadrant and are about to start removing the discs from the SW quadrant. Saravanam & team keep on moving scaffolding to enable the two other teams to carry on with their respective work.
Outer face, below, between the 4 pillars: Victor, Dorothee & team are working on a large symbol of the Mother, which will hide the central hole of the central staircase from below. Peter T. & team are fixing marble tiles around this symbol, and Paneer & team have installed most of the discs.
A the first entrance door (North, Mahakali) and its immediate surroundings: ‘Flamed' granite slabs have been fixed, under Andrey's guidance, on the RCC steps. Victor & team are working on the golden ‘shield' and the very large golden disc to be placed above the entrance. Jean, Vladimir and their respective teams will provide the sliding door and its automatic mechanism.
Twelve Large & Small Petals
Two meditation rooms , ‘ Peace ' & ‘ Equality' , are open for meditation and a 3 rd , ‘ Sincerity ', is almost ready. Pierre, Pashi, Shanta, Carlos & team are busy completing the nine others. They are all at a very advanced state of completion and should be completed before the end of 2005. The last of the 12 small petals , ‘ Perfection ', was completed 3 months ago.
Space below Matrimandir, at ground level
The white marble Lotus Pond is being completed by Fabrice, Pascal & team. It already looks very beautiful. The surrounding area is also almost complete thanks to Alain, Somu & team.
Pathways on the future Island
By August end, Somu's team will complete the 1st circular pathway, and most radials within it. They will then carry on with all other pathways on the future Island except for most of those in the west side, which won't be paved. Peter's team cuts all the stones.
Infrastructure of the future oval island (water & electrical system)
Irrigation system of the future Island : 3 quotations for the main components of this system have been received and the order is about to be placed (Luca, Pashi, Dirk, Michael & Gilles). This highly sophisticated system will incorporate maximum flexibility and the latest water saving techniques. Sprinklers and drippers will be placed only when the designs are finalised. Funds will come, at least partly, from the money left by the late Rosa ( Arati ) in a Trust for Matrimandir Gardens . A new (140KVA) diesel generator has been ordered and will soon be commissioned.
Contouring the Gardens of the future Island
In May, Tom & Selvam supervised two excavators to contour the Gardens of Harmony, Perfection & Existence and to raise to zero level the area by the old ‘Camp' (Roger hasn't finalised yet his plans for this area). Somu, Selvam & team have rebuilt outside the oval some of the buildings in the workshop and ‘Camp' areas. Gaje's team is busy completing manually all contouring.
Alain's team contoured the Garden of Unity (next to the Banyan tree, NW of it) as per Roger's revised plans. It differs a little from the original ‘rosewood model' (to create 12 mini gardens), but the spirit remains the same. They also made, on one side of the ‘Unity Pond', a mock-up of a mini-amphitheatre, which Roger designed (but hasn't finalised yet).
Helping the Gardens on the future Island to come down
Creating the proper atmosphere: There is a growing awareness at Matrimandir that, for the ‘destined' garden designer(s) (whoever they may be) to be able to do their work, we need to create a harmonious atmosphere and be open to what She wants.
Inviting: A new Garden brochure will soon be published to give all the relevant information to all potential garden designers. The addresses of potentially interested parties are welcome.
Preparing the ground: There is also the feeling that, by preparing the ground for the Gardens (we hope to achieve this before the end of 2006), we are actually helping them to ‘come down'.
Collecting flowers: Tina, Kireet & Narad are collecting those plants they consider most likely to fit in each one of the 12 Gardens and display them in 12 ‘collection plots' (located between Matrimandir Office and the former ‘Camp').
Experimenting: The ‘Garden Reflection Group' which was constituted around Roger, has allocated some seed money to test some ideas in 4 Gardens: Nadja's design ( Bliss ) , Marc's design (in part of Light and in part of Power ) and Leonard's design (in part of Unity ). (Note that Nadja's concept was selected out of five proposals.) These are only experiments , done with low-cost materials to give a clear visual idea to everyone of what a particular designer proposes. Models of all proposals can be seen at Matrimandir Office. More proposals – hopefully inspired – are required, and several other Aurovilians (Poppo, Mona & Nevi, Gnagnavel, Kalya and André H.) have already shown a real interest. Narad remains committed to Mother's request that he design the Unity Garden by the Banyan tree.
Matrimandir executives are committed to involve the community in the decision making process of the Gardens. Probably sometime in late September , the ‘Garden Reflection Group' will be ready to review the situation publicly, and to present its recommendation on how to proceed.
It will probably take some years before some proposal for the final Lake can be formulated (because of the difficult water situation). However, possibilities for an intermediate water body around the future Island are being studied. Here again, Matrimandir executives are committed to follow a suitable approval process as soon as a clear proposal will start taking shape.
Almost everything on the future Matrimandir Island (including pathways and infrastructure, but excluding the Gardens themselves) should be complete during the second half of 2006.