The archives currently are located too close to the Adyar River in a building with severe moisture problems. That means that the archives are not kept in an adequate environment. The idea was launched that the archives and the library/research centre together would turn into a perfect research centre.
While looking in and around the library it was discovered that there is a spare room for 4-6 workers for the archives inside the library building. The archives will have its own, unique and fully acclimatized environment, hence the name “archives-box” was introduced. This new archives-box will consist of prefabricated concrete elements with a total format outside of around 5,0 x 15,0 meters, height about 4,0 meters. It will have two doors to both sides of the existing patio of the library. The possibilities for a larger archives-box also exist; in this case the 15 meters can be expanded to 20 meters.
You see some photos of the location for the archives-box, behind the patio at the backside of the main-building.
Next to the box, it will be necessary to install electrical wiring and a specially designed lighting system inside and make it fully air-conditioned, typically suiting the needs for an archive. In the Library itself also some changes are necessary, e.g. new toilets and a corridor from the archives-administration room leading to the archives-box. The priority of making changes in the archives is very high. Only after the complete removal of the archives a start with renovation of Headquarters Building can be made.
We could draw up the plans and make all relevant appointments and the implementation of the archives-box itself by 2016.
The possible location behind the Library for the archives-box
Renovating Headquarters Building, Raja House and the Blavatsky Bungalow
After we have the architectural drawings of the buildings we start with the technical recording of the three buildings. That means it will be necessary to go over all the places and spaces to find out what, where and how big the technical problems are.
After this procedure, these recordings will be translated into architectural specifications. On the basis of these specifications it is possible to ask a contractor to present a cost indication for the project.
This survey of the quality of the buildings will be done by an experienced external party. Although it can be supervised from a distance, this work would need to be checked regularly. For this specific task funds are required. Furthermore assistance from volunteers will be mandatory.
The buildings are plagued with leakage, termites and rising dampness
Another possibility is to request a contractor to do the survey and describe all the work that has to be done. Of course that specific work needs be controlled and double-checked afterwards.
Both methods are possible and have their own pros and cons. It will fully depend on who we are able to find to do the job, either a skilled contractor or an architect, it’ll be entirely our decision.
The renovation of Headquarters Building should start after the moving of the archives to the library, so the new mapping can begin. Headquarters Building and Raja House is one plot, we should be able to do that project simultaneously. After finishing this we proceed with the Blavatsky Bungalow.
Making plans rebuilding Leadbeater Chambers (LBC)
How can we construct modern accommodation on the estate?
After the architectural drawings of LBC are made the technical recording of the building starts. The procedure followed is identical to the one as described earlier under “Renovating Headquarters Building, Raja House and the Blavatsky Bungalow.”
This survey of the quality of the building and also the sketch of the design for the new rooms and suites will be done by our own team. It is expected that 56 new rooms and 2 suites will be set up.
The elaboration of the draft regarding the modified floors and the technical support can be done by ourselves as well.
Leadbeater Chambers has severe problems with rust of the reinforcement, leakage and rising dampness
After this is finished a contractor will be approached for a cost indication. As soon as we know the estimated price and if funds are available, the renovation of the building can start.
The rebuilding of LBC should consist of:
- 56 new rooms with own bathroom and toilet
- 28 rooms with an extra kitchenette
- 2 suites with own bathroom, toilets and kitchen
- the rooms on the top floor with air-conditioning, other rooms with natural ventilation
- all rooms with warm water based on solar energy
- three new staircases leading to the first and second floor, instead of the internal staircases
- solar panels on the roof to become energy self sufficient
- installation to clean own waste water
Possible ideas for rebuilding LBC, with every room having its own toilet and bath room
Specialized maintenance work to be done
For all the buildings with priority AA, A and B, there are some specialized jobs to be done:
Emergency repairs to the porch of the Blavatsky Bungalow
Some beams at the porch of the Blavatsky Bungalow are in a very bad condition; a risk of collapse exists. Repair is urgent.
Urgent repair of these beams is necessary
Renovation of the ground floor of the Olcott Bungalow
The ground-floor of the Olcott Bungalow needs an upgrade. For the International President it is necessary to have a place where he can receive guests and family in a more private setting. There would need to be an office space as well.
The ground floor of the Olcott Bungalow needs to be redecorated
Renovation of Shanti Kunja
Shanti Kunja needs to be renovated. This is needed in the short term; if nothing is done, structural damage will occur which will cause the total cost for repairs to rise considerably.
Shanti Kunja is in a bad condition, but it is still good enough to renovate before things worsen and renovating will become very costly