Aidlin Darling’s design for The Windhover Contemplative Center on the campus of Stanford University in California used San Francisco Bay area artist Nathan Oliveira’s meditative Windhover paintings as inspiration for the one-story, 4,000 square foot spiritual retreat.
“The space is intended for quiet reflection throughout the day and will provide a place of refuge from the intensity of daily life for Stanford students, faculty, and staff members.” says Aidlin Darling Design. The project broke ground on July 29th and is slated for completion by Spring 2014.
“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.