The Board of Directors describes their vision of this project as follows:
Tibet House is a non-profit cultural institution designed to save, promote, and enrich the sacred arts and philosophy of the ancient civilization of Tibet–a culture that is now on the brink of total annihilation. Part of the vision–already coming true–is an array of programs showing off this magnificent heritage. Another dream is to have an actual, physical approached initially to develop a conceptual fund-raising effort for a building through direct mail campaigns, advertisements, and group and personal presentations. The design shown is thus an intermediate stage of the realization of the building: a vision of what Tibet House could be.
The current design functions much like the traditional Buddhist Mandala–a two dimensional representation of the celestial place of Nirvana–that plays a central role in all Buddhist ceremonies. In a similar way, the project represents the future building, and is designed to serve as an armature for ideas. These ideas are being elaborated and expanded through the design process. The design responds to the challenge of combining an ancient vocabulary of Tibetan architecture with the modern context of New York City. Reflecting the desire in some way to re-create the Tibetan experience in this foreign context. The design also attempts to reproduce, both concretely and abstractly, certain symbolic or archetypal aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, architecture and landscape.