STONE BARN COMPETITION
Our proposal creates an environment that nurtures the practice of meditation by synchronizing the program organization to the rhythm of annual and diurnal solar cycles, from the macro scale of site
organization through to the spacial configuration within the barn. Spaces are organized according to the amount of exposure to light, sound, and privacy that would best suit the purpose of the program, where additional control of the elements is required, architectural elements are introduced to control the porosity of these elements.
As the central focus of the barn, the meditation room is placed at the heart of it; this symbolic placement allows for the principles of thoughtfulness and
reflection to emanate throughout the camp. Our proposal serves to connect those in meditation to nature and to reflect upon their relationship with nature in a multitude of ways, by listening to the sound of running water from the meditation room, and fostering a deeper connection through meditative walks and gardening.
Respecting the natural history and traditions of Latvia, the two additions to the barn are constructed from planks of locally sourced Norway spruce and Scots pine, traditional to Latvian building techniques. The project differentiates the new from the old by inverting the traditional gable roof of the barn and inverting it into an asymmetrical butterfly roof that covers a new dining wing and sauna cabin. Harvesting the same hydroelectric energy from the stream that ran the saw mill for over a century, a turbine lies in the stream beneath the meditation room powering the facility and the private residence.
Local residents run the community garden which is located between the public road and the barn, creating a space for locals and guests to interact and cultivate the garden together.
Produce from the garden along with foraged berries and mushrooms are used in meals and nutrition classes that prepare traditional Latvian dishes. During the winter the guests can fully experience the ritual of pirts in a steam filled sauna followed by the chilling stream, a tradition that cleanses and replenishes the visitor anew.