Massachusetts-based Peter Rose + Partners had a simple strategy for designing the Kripalu Annex, part of the largest and most established yoga retreat in North America. Rose wanted his architecture to speak to the spiritual and natural essence of yoga by creating elegant material relationships and crisp aesthetics.
More images and more about the yoga center after the break.
According to Rose, “Kripalu’s housing needs are modest and straightforward, but the architecture of the Annex, like yoga itself, is full of subtlety and layers of complexity that gently improve the structure’s performance. Light, air, using minimal means to create a calm, healing environment—it’s all about fulfilling these almost intangible requirements.”
The new 80-room housing tower is set in an absolutely stunning forest in the Berkshire Mountains, connected to the existing Kripalu facility with a glazed passageway. Upon entering the new building, visitors are greeted with a 2,400-square-foot yoga space. The room is flooded with natural light and the glazing also provides uninterrupted views of the foliage and mountains.
The project works with fairly few materials –cypress, concrete, glass – yet the materials’ varied treatment creates a balanced and overall cohesive language. For instance, at times, the concrete structure and cores are occasionally revealed, whereas in other instances, the concrete is covered with slatted cypress. For the rooms, cypress sun screens slide in front of each guest room window, allowing each visitor control of their environment. Over time, the cladding will weather to a natural grey, allowing the project to “almost disappear with the wooded landscape.”
The firm strongly believed that the center, much like yoga, must connect with nature so Rose incorporated several sustainable strategies into the design. In plan, the building’s tapering axis helps funnel breezes; the building use a hydronic radiant heating and cooling, and its compact design provided for an energy savings of nearly half when compared to the conventional construction.
Overall,the project seems extremely thoughtful of its surroundings, as the building volume was designed to functionally meet the needs of the center in a minimalistic way, without taking the attention from the landscape. The project was recognized by the AIA for the Specialized Housing award.
As seen on Archinnovations.