The Unity Pavilion
The Unity Pavilion, located on the Crown Road in the International Zone, was started as a seed and catalyst for the overall development of Auroville's International Zone. Today it consists of the Unity Hall, the Hall of Peace, office space, a Geodesic Dome, an outdoor eating space, and hosts a wide variety of events.
Architects: Piero & Gloria Cicionesi
Cultivating a Spirit of Unity
The Unity Hall offers space for a wide range of activities such as exhibitions, cultural events, presentations and lectures, workshops and community meetings. The Hall can hold up to 250 people and has proved to be very versatile in its use.
The Hall of Peace was inaugurated on 11 February 2014 and is the home for the Peace Table of Asia. Regular "Peace" meditations take place, and other programmes around the Peace Table are being developed.
The office building provides office space for the Unity Pavilion management team, Peace Research, the International Zone Coordination Team, Pavilion Groups, Auroville International, and Koodam (Auroville's platform for conflict resolution and facilitation).
The Geodesic Dome is used for outdoor circle sustainable dev meetings and dialogue sessions, and the outdoor eating space for evening gatherings and cultural events that include food and refreshments.
The focus of the work in the Unity Pavilion covers topics such as human unity, world peace, east-west and north-south relations, sustainable development and human potential, development of the International Zone, and the interaction of cultures that defy national borders.
"It is no longer towards division and difference that we should turn our minds, but on unity, union, even oneness necessary for the pursuit and realisation of a common ideal..."
(Sri Aurobindo, A Message to America, 1949)
Before his passing in 1990, the Japanese American architect, George Nakashima, left a legacy to Humanity; a special table dedicated to Peace in the world. Nakashima had been a ‘National Treasure of Japan’ for his unique wooden furniture designs. According to his wishes, his table was to be replicated 5 times and distributed to the 5 continents on the Earth.
Nakashima’s thought and life were similar to Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s ideals, and in his youth he had resided for some period in the ashram in Pondicherry. Owing to this, his daughter, Mira, and son, Kevin, were happy to donate and bring, in 1996, the table, for Asia, to Auroville. It’s natural place was found in the Unity Pavilion (no peace is possible without unity!).
At the beginning of 2014, the table was installed in the small, quiet, independent (but closely connected to the main building) Hall of Peace.
The natural wood and shape of the table receives lots of light from its natural surroundings, in keeping with Nakashima’s great love of trees and nature. The table is now used for meetings of small groups in need of concentration.
The name derives from and refers to the concept of Human Unity, announced by Sri Aurobindo. The building was conceived as a point of focus for the International Zone in Auroville, a place where Eastern, Western and all other cultures would meet up and learn from each other. It was to also be a ‘common ground’ for nations within Auroville unable to build their own pavilions.
The first phase began in 2000, with a simple structure for offices and administration. The second phase, the main building, is a large multi-purpose hall built with good acoustic quality and light. The aim of the design was to create a harmonious atmosphere between space and materials; where people would feel comfortable, and at ease. The designing allows the hall to be used for a variety of functions ranging from conferences, meetings, exhibitions and simple musical performances. The building was inaugurated in 2012.
Sri Aurobindo AuditoriumCultural Heart of AurovilleThe Auditorium is an impressive structure with an iconic roof projection and a 650-seat auditorium that probably provides the largest theatre seating capacity in south India. Over the years it has been the scene of creative and innovative programmes plus workshops in music, dance, art and theatre. It has also served as a venue for national and international seminars and a centre for Indian and international films and film festivals. In fact, it has acted as the cultural heart of Auroville, and the main centre of the International Zone since it started functioning.Architect: R. Chakrapani
Savitri BhavanA Centre for Education of the Vision of Sri Aurobindo and the MotherSituated in the International Zone between Bharat Nivas and Matrimandir, Savitri Bhavan is a centre of education based on the vision and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Its purpose is to gather all kinds of materials and activities that will foster knowledge and understanding of the lives, work and vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the aims and ideals of Auroville, and make them available to the interested general public.Architect: Helmut Schmid