San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design has broke ground on the Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University. Inspired by Nathan Oliveira’s meditative Windhover paintings, the single-story, 4,000 square foot spiritual retreat is intended to provide students, faculty and staff members a quiet place of refuge from the intensity of daily life.
The Windhover Center is located in front of Roble Hall, adjacent to a natural oak grove. The extended progression to the building’s entry through a long, private garden sheltered from its surroundings by a line of tall bamboo, will allow visitors to shed the outside world before entering.
The Center will include three rooms featuring five large paintings by the late artist Nathan Oliveira. Within, the space opens fully to the oak glade beyond, while louvered skylights wash the 15 to 30 foot-long paintings with natural light, unifying art, architecture, and landscape. Thick rammed earth walls and wood surfaces will further heighten the visitor’s sensory experience acoustically, tactilely, olfactory, as well as visually.
Benches and cushions will be strategically placed to allow members of the Stanford Community to quietly view the paintings inside, as well as the oak grove and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden outside. The building, enclosed in glass, will allow viewing of the Oliveira paintings from the exterior as well as from within, at all hours of the day and night.
Water, in conjunction with landscape, will be used throughout as an aid for meditation; fountains within the main gallery and the courtyard will provide ambient sound, while a still reflecting pool and garden to the south reflects the surrounding trees. The Center is being designed in conjunction with Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.
The project is slated for completion by Spring 2014.
ArchitectAidlin Darling Design
Design TeamJoshua Aidlin (Principal in Charge), David Darling (Principal), Roslyn Cole (Project Manager), Kent Chiang (Senior Designer), Melinda Turner (Designer)
Landscape ArchitectAndrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Structural EngineerRutherford & Chekene
Civil EngineerBKF Engineers
Lighting DesignerAuerbach Glasow French
Acoustical ConsultantCharles Salter Associates
Daylighting and MEP Schematic Narrative ConsultantsLoisos + Ubbelohde
PhotographsCourtesy of Aidlin Darling Design