Page C2.3. 23 May 2007                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
NEWS   |   DESIGN   |   BUILDING   |   DESIGN TOOLS   |   ENVIRONMENT   |   CULTURE
< Prev Page Next Page >
 
CULTURE
 
  •  
  • Postcard from Pucon
     
  •  
  • New Sacred Space
     
  •  
  • Saving the Taj Mahal

      [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    AND MORE
      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Search
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters
       

     
    QUIZ

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    New Sacred Space

    continued

    Meditation Gardens

    The TKF Foundation funded the peace garden that opened in 2004 in the Western Correctional Institution (WCI), a prison facility in Cumberland, Maryland. With the use of guided imagery led by architect Anthony Lawlor, the inmates themselves designed the garden. It provides staff and inmates a place for quiet reflection and gives inmates a private place to openly express their emotions when given bad news from home.

    Prison inmates provided much of the construction labor including some of the stone and concrete work and landscaping. One of TKF's innovations was to attach a waterproof journal to benches. Notes from the WCI journals include: "this community garden restores my serenity with each passing day" and "planting, watering, growing my way back into society, so I can blossom and shine once again."

    John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, also in Baltimore, is another example of how sacred spaces can be integrated into a building's landscape architecture. Designed by the Labyrinth Company, this garden features an outdoor "labyrinth" for patients, staff, and the community to inspire reflective contemplation. Defined by brick pavers, it was inspired by the famous labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral and spirals in toward a central point of focus.

    The notion of sacred space is expanding beyond institutional buildings and is finding an expression in houses as well. According to residential architect Sarah Susanka, author of "The Not So Big House," such a sacred space is simply a "place of one's own" a private, quiet space for "inner listening" and self discovery.

    Even a small space, such as an alcove off a bedroom, may serve this purpose. These spaces, Susanka says, offer "connection to the greater mystical universe, and we can learn to hear the voice of the true self."

    As people continue to hunger for a sense of something larger and more meaningful, sacredness will continue to be recognized beyond the boundaries of traditional places of worship, in public institutions, prisons, hospitals, and other areas of life. It's a fundamental dimension of the possibilities of architectural and human expression, communicated in new and renewing forms.

    Debra Moffitt is an American writer based in Europe.

     

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    AW

    ArchWeek Image

    Evry Cathedral in France, by Mario Botta.
    Photo: Pino Musi

    ArchWeek Image

    Inside Evry Cathedral.
    Photo: Pino Musi

    ArchWeek Image

    Modern Art Museum in Rovereto, Trento, Italy, by Mario Botta.
    Photo: Pino Musi

    ArchWeek Image

    Inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art by Mario Botta.
    Photo: Johnson Architectural Images/ Artifice Images

    ArchWeek Image

    Portal into the meditation garden of John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
    Photo: David Harp

    ArchWeek Image

    "Labyrinth" at the John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
    Photo: David Harp

    ArchWeek Image

    Brick pavers define a labyrinthine path.
    Photo: David Harp

    ArchWeek Image

    Western Correctional Institution in Maryland with a garden funded by the TKF Foundation.
    Photo: David Harp

    ArchWeek Image

    Garden at the Western Correctional Institution.
    Photo: David Harp

    ArchWeek Image

    "Sacred" alcove off a bedroom, from The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka, published by The Taunton Press, 1998.
    Photo: Jeff Krueger

     

    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

     
    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH
      ArchitectureWeek.com © 2007 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved