Designing an Urban Meditation Centre

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Gadeken, Joliette M.
article description
When we, as students, design architecture we tend to conceptualize built space as form and gesture - as one grand, unified whole. However, that is not how the built environment is experienced. Architecture exists not simply as architectonic expression or as conceptual meaning, but also as an experienced series of physical spaces connected to each other and to their surroundings by the movement of people through these spaces. In approaching this project, I chose to experiment with a process based on designing spaces in much the same way that they are experienced. The entire development of this project was informed by this process, everything from the program to the proposed site. The stated fundamental DESIGN GOALS of the project where: To explore an experiential and phenomenological approach to design rather than designing ‘building-as-object.’ - to design a building with which the user can interact and which has a designed effect upon the user’s state of mind and emotions. - to incorporate various natural elements materials and spatial arrangements to further these goals. To create a sustainable project not just in resources but in use of spaces and relation to the surrounding community as well. - to create flexible adaptable spaces that can remain functional as needs change. - to create an appropriately regulated continuity between the streetscape and the building’s interior that enhances the experience of both environments.