Inner Space: Meditation Center on the Somerville Community Path
Inner Space is a design for a meditation center on the Somerville Community Path in Massachusetts. The structure features an inner structural concrete shell and an exterior wood screen that create a peaceful and visually appealing escape for visitors.
The theme of the EP Exhibit 2016 is It Takes a Community. Selected projects showcase the best work from young designers highlighting community impact and engagement.
The meditation center is a beacon along the Somerville community path; its mass is hewn to relate to the residential scale at the south. Both the sequence of spaces as well as their material and illuminated qualities are designed with the intent to create a space for being engaged with the mind and body. Choreographed movement begins with approach via the footpath, and culminates at the top of the building. Every level of the stair reveals a unique and intriguing relationship to interior and exterior as its course repeats.
Entry occurs through layers of material and space, introducing the visitor gradually to the peaceful interior realm. Quotidien programs are enclosed and expressed as figures, while meditation spaces negotiate the voids between those forms and the skin. Each program has a singular and ambiguous relationship to light and views. The lightwell creates moments of tranquility as it cuts past each floor.
A layered facade serves as a buffer, mediating between the city and slower, more contemplative spaces. The two skins—an inner structural concrete shell and an exterior wood screen - overlap, and precise apertures diverge or converge to create porosity and allow specific and abstracted views as the visitor progresses upward. A twist in the outer membrane allows more light to slip through and filters the views from within.
The material of the meditation center is sculpted to capture specific moments of ineffable space.