Alan Garden

This is a slideshow of my marathon journey to build Alan Garden.



Completing this concept was difficult due to the constraints under which I was placed. Just inside the entrance to the school, there stands a wizened old tree, larger both in height and by the circumference of its trunk. I had noticed a few objects placed around the base and wondered at the significance of the tree. The Venerable Neminda, then told me a story. In India, the locals knew the Banyan tree as the vat-vriksha. When the British came to India, they noticed that members of the trading, or Bania community, used to gather under a large shady fig tree, which they named the Banyan, from Bania. Highly regarded in Buddhism, it is believed that Lord Buddha sat under a Banyan tree for seven days after he attained enlightenment to absorb his new-found realisation. With this in mind, I decided to build a bench, one where the people/students etc could sit and meditate/relax/study, or even picnic. I fashioned the idea of a semi-circular bench out of bamboo which initially would have been cheap and simple to knock together but realised that bamboo would not fit in with the concept as the seating area would have been too uncomfortable, and bamboo rots quickly when split. While planning the layout I decided to extend the idea to three benches then added a bamboo ‘curtain’ to shelter the area and make it more relaxing. The problems soon mounted – the hardness of the ground/the tools to dig the holes/no electricity to drill any holes, etc. Also, my decision to screw from underneath to hold the slats to avoid spoiling the teak. After much effort and time, I eventually completed it, thanks to a lot of help from my friends.