BIG unveils the master design of Gelephu Mindfulness City in Bhutan

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Mindfulness City

Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architecture firm, has revealed the design for a massive development project spanning approximately 1000 square kilometers in Bhutan. The project, known as Gelepu Mindfulness City, is planned to be situated near the Indian border in the southern town of Gelephu.

The development is part of Bhutan’s vision to become the world’s first carbon-negative country, and BIG has collaborated with Arup and Cistri. The master plan for Gelepu Mindfulness City will encompass a range of features, including an airport, railway, hydroelectric dam, public spaces, and various local building typologies.

Bjarke Ingels said, “The Gelephu Masterplan gives form to His Majesty’s vision to create a city that becomes a cradle for growth and innovation while remaining founded on Bhutanese nature and culture.” He added, “Shaped by waterways, Gelephu becomes a land of bridges, connecting nature and people, past and future, local and global. Like the traditional Dzongs, these inhabitable bridges turn into cultural landmarks, doubling as transportation infrastructure and civic facilities.”

Mindfulness City

The project aims to promote psychological well-being, health, education, living standards, time use, ecological diversity and resilience, good governance, cultural diversity and resilience, and community vitality. Each domain will be reflected in the design of the city’s infrastructure, ensuring that the development is sustainable and environmentally conscious and promotes the well-being of its residents.

“The Sankosh Temple-Dam embeds the city’s fundamental values into a cascading landscape of steps and landings, that like a 21st century Tigers Nest, will be a manmade monument to the divine possibility of a sustainable human presence on earth. Turning engineering into art and turning the forces of nature into power,” said Bjarke Ingels.

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