Located 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the town of Cuerámaro in the state of Guanajuato, the Templo Umbral – or Threshold Temple – is the first building constructed by the Hare Krishnas in the region since they arrived there in 2012.
As the first physical move toward establishing their presence in the area, this project was built with a participative approach, reflecting the Krishnas’ principles. The commission from the community was to create a complex that could merge their requirements and be developed progressively and in stages, firstly and most importantly with the construction of the temple, which would define the layout of the rest of the development.
The Hare Krishnas are not-for-profit organization and therefore the temple’s construction budget was limited to $300,000 Mexican pesos (equivalent to roughly US$14,600). Members of the religious community had previously approached other architectural practices but had failed to secure an aordable and congruent project. We based our design and project strategy on the understanding of the Hare Krishna community: it involved a highly detailed analysis of an intuitive construction system that could be built by a community with virtually no training in construction techniques, thus minimizing labor costs. The project’s execution would leave a trace of the collaborative