Poondi Retreat Centre


Client: Poondi madha Foundation

Area: 40000 SQFT

Project team: Santhosh,Raja krishnan,Balu,Ismail



The Retreat Center is part of the Poondi Madha Basilica; a catholic pilgrimage centre located near a small village Thirukatupalli, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu. Development was planned on the southern side of the basilica at an extent to 3 acres. The building was planned to accommodate retreat congregation groups of all sizes. Program includes Prayer hall, 3 conference halls to hold small to large groups, refectory, library, dormitories, 80 double rooms and supporting back of house operations.

The surrounding ambience boasts of infinite views of green paddy fields on all directions, which is a retreat by itself. We wanted to capitalize on this as much as possible on all sides of the building. Ground floor predominantly houses all the public spaces and rooms are accommodated in the first & second level. The built form is a continuous loop forming internal courtyards and aligned to have windows on North – South orientation.

A stepped courtyard that can also act as an OAT and stairs to the upper level welcomes you from the lobby. Another garden is in the interstial space between the library and dining.The whole building is constantly perforated on the roof with skylights and on the walls to frame the paddy fields views. These fenestrations also open to the cool wind from the agricultural fields. Being a place of reverence, everything was kept to minimal requirements to just fulfill the essentials. All rooms are furnished a double bed,wardrobe and a writing desk. Kota, Cuddaph & low cost granite are the stones extensively used throughout the building in all spaces.