Facilities Development Plan
Practice at Hokyoji has always been intimate with the land. The bluffs, the meadows and the wildlife they contain continue to inspire all those who come, but despite recent improvements the accommodations fail to do justice to the setting. The existing facilities have served their intended purpose, but several are now well beyond their expected life-spans and will have to be taken down in the near future. Other structures remain sound and can be improved to better serve current needs. Overall, though, the facilities impose critical limits on the ability of HZPC to realize its vision. In order to move forward in a bold and efficient way, the leadership of HZPC after much hard work has approved a Facilities Development Plan.
This plan explores the potential for constructing a new complex of buildings on the slopes behind the existing zendo. While not exactly as envisioned by Katagiri Roshi, the new complex would bring to life his idea of a monastery on the hill where practitioners can pursue “…the quiet sangha life in unity…”. The sketch above (Figure A) shows one vision of what it might look like. A carefully developed phasing plan allows construction to proceed incrementally, first with the remodeling of existing structures and then with new construction on the hill. Building increments can be either small or large depending on available funds. All existing buildings will eventually be phased out except the current residence and the workshop/dormitory.
The first phase of the plan calls for improvements to existing structures, to act as a bridge until the new construction can be undertaken. The zendo has now been winterized for year-round use, and the sleeping areas in the workshop will be next. Second will be new roofing for all buildings except the main residence. And finally, as funds allow, other improvements will be made, such as finishing the small cabin in the meadow, screening in the showers and sinks in the rear of the tea house or installing gutters on the zendo.
The next phase is the beginning of new construction and calls for a small residence structure on the hill as shown in Figure B.
Next the kitchen would be added along with office, common spaces and some additional sleeping spaces as seen in Figure C. At this point the existing tea house and bath house would be demolished.
Finally Figure D shows the completed project with a new zendo and the existing one removed.
Figures E and F show the organization of the new complex. The core elements—zendo, kitchen, offices, commons and some sleeping rooms are on a single level stretched out along the contours of the slope. The kitchen and zendo are opposite each other as in a traditional Soto monastery. The other elements—primarily additional sleeping rooms and bathing facilities—step up and down the hill, some connected by covered walkways to the main grouping. Two exterior spaces are formed, a garden courtyard facing the valley and a vehicle
entry court on the uphill side.
Figure G shows how these spaces fit on the hillside and illustrates a building style reminiscent of both Midwest farms and Japanese monasteries.
The leadership of Hokyoji is excited to be moving forward with this plan. We hope that many of our friends, old and new, will help us on the way. Please consider a donation, and if you wish to offer services, please contact us.