For more than thirty years, members of Sufism Reoriented have dreamed of building a permanent sanctuary that could house all our activities in the neighborhood where we live. Now, with the aid of one of
America's leading architects, that dream is coming true.
On July 3, 2008, Sufism Reoriented submitted to Contra Costa County a Land Use Permit Application to build a new sanctuary. The renowned architectural firm Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie will transform 3.25 acres in a mixed-use neighborhood just west of Walnut Creek into an elegant sanctuary set among serene gardens. The site will be a "still, peaceful place apart whose beauty will offer refreshment to those in the neighborhood for decades to come," according to Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, the Murshida, or spiritual director, of Sufism Reoriented.
The graceful building, designed to Murshida Conner's specifications by principal architect Alan Ritchie, derives its beauty not from ornamentation but from its classical curvilinear form. Perhaps the most innovative feature of Mr. Ritchie's design is that a full two-thirds of the building will be placed under ground on a spacious concourse level, partially lit by large skylights and decorated with plants and murals.
Placing two-thirds of the sanctuary below ground preserves the surrounding property for use as gardens, which the public will be able to enjoy as a place for quiet contemplation. The gardens were designed by the distinguished landscape architects SWA Group, whose projects have won more than 600 international awards for excellence.
The links at the right will take you into the beautiful world of our new sanctuary project. You'll be able to see the building's design and landscaping elements from many angles and perspectives. You'll also find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the project as well as background information on our core beliefs, worship, and service activities, including the White Pony and Meher schools. We hope this information will provide insight into how our principles and values have influenced the design of this uniquely beautiful sacred space.
We plan to update information on the building project as it unfolds. We believe that our new sanctuary and gardens will become a source of community-wide enjoyment and pride.