Architecture / Meditation in undefined places

Early study for an outdoor meditation space
Unbuilt

⇒ 中文

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There is a lot of mystery behind spiritual processes.
Wanting to make architecture for meditation, we wonder:
How does meditation affect the perception of space and time?
We know very little about that, since each mind has its own perception.
Then, how do space and time affect meditation?
Again we know very little, since each mind meditates in its own way.
As architects we want to organize space and time, but the space and time of meditation take countless forms, and we understand not of them but our own. We want to organize what we cannot define nor predict.
We face a paradox, and an architecture to meditate should be shaped by this paradox:
if a meditation place had to be defined, it would be precisely for its ability to be redefined for each person who meditates in it; that is, for us, defining an undefined place.

1. Undefined movement

Because a person might walk to find a space to meditate, or perhaps simply walk to meditate, our place is a place of undefined movement.
We draw a circle, and that is our land. No angles, no start, no ending. Inside,  like in a cloister, one can walk round and round indefinitely, because there is no landmark to mark the start of every turn.
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We plant trees, equidistant from each other.
A veil to hide the horizon, give volume to the hills and valleys.
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The trees form a neutral pattern in which one can trace its own paths and enclosures – or trace nothing: the pattern becomes then a land empty of events, a land of permanence in which there is not time but the time of the mind.

2. Undefined interactions.

Because people might meet others, our place is a place of undefined interactions.
We use the natural tension between the center and the perimeter of the circle as an answer to the tension between the social and the individual. A centrifugal flow, in which people will gather at the center, or find solitude on the sides.
 interactions

3. Undefined position

Because, along their path, people might need to stop, our place is a place of undefined positions. They will chose, among all the possibilities in space and time, one area, one moment, and think: “it is here”.

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In an undefined land, where each position is equal to the other, this choice is not ours, but theirs, and that is meaningful.

 

position

Since we need to provide shelters against the sun and the rain, at specific positions, we make those positions as neutral as possible, in a radial pattern that only follows the social tension explained above: shelters for many at the center, shelters for one at the perimeter.

4. Undefined conditions

Because we know very little about each person’s meditation process, the shelters are places of undefined conditions.

They are circular, like the land. Even though they are fixed, with their sliding walls they seem to turn, facing any direction, following the sun and the wind.

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中文

在不定的地方裡冥想

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在冥想的精神修行背後有許多的奧秘。
對於設計冥想的建築,我們思考著:
冥想如何影響我們對空間和時間的概念?
對此,我們所了解的少之又少 – 因為每個人的腦子裡有不同的感知。
那麼,空間和時間如何影響冥想?
再一次的,對此,我們所了解的少之又少 – 因為每個人的腦子思考的方式不同。
身為建築師,我們想要建構空間及時間,這兩者以無盡的形態呈現。而我們只了解自我對時間和空間的概念,但我們卻想要建構我們所無法定義且無法預測的。
於是,我們遇到了矛盾點。然而一個設計給冥想的建築卻應該環繞著這個矛盾點來塑造:
如果一個冥想的地方必需被定義,那將是「它」可以被每個不同使用的人重新定義的能力,也就是對我們來說 – 定義一個不定的地方。

1. 不定的動向

因為當想要冥想時,可能會需要走動尋找一個冥想地域; 又或者是單純地,走動的當下也成了一種冥想。
於是,這個地方是擁抱著不定的動向的。
我們畫一個圈 – 它就是我們的領土。沒有角度、沒有起點、沒有盡頭。在裡面,如同迴廊一般,你可以無限的繞圈。因為這裡沒有標誌來標示每一圈的起點。
undefined movement 1我們以等距種樹。如同一層面紗般遮蓋住地平線,
也因此增加周圍山丘、山谷的份量。
undefined movement 2
這些樹形成一個無形的格局,在裡面人們可以想劃設自己的足跡和佔地 ; 又或者不:
這個格局於是成為一個沒有事件的土地 ; 一個永恆的土地 – 人們在裡面感受不到時間,而只存在精神上的時間。

2.不定的互動

在這個地方,冥想者可能遇到其他人。於是,這個地方成為擁抱不定互動的地方。
使用圓形空間中心與週圍的自然張力回應群體與個人的張力。離心力使人們集中在中心點,或是獨自待在週圍。
 interactions

3. 不定的位置

隨著每個人不同的冥想路徑 ,他可能需要停下腳步。這個地方便是一個擁抱不定位置的地方。
冥想者將可以選擇 – 在所有的空間與時間可能性中。找到一塊地方、一個片刻,心裡想著:
「就是這裡了。」

undefined position 2

在一塊不定的土地上,每個位置都等同於另一個。然而這個選擇權不在我們,而在他們。並且這個選擇,意義重大。

 

position

為了有遮蔽物可以適時的遮蔽陽光和雨水,我們建造冥想房於特定的位置。我們盡可能讓它以等距隨處擺放並以輻射狀向外擴散 – 仿照前面提到的群體張力:
提供多人的冥想房集中在中心,獨自的冥想房散布在週圍。

4. 不定的條件

正因為我們對於每個人冥想的過程了解得少之又少,這個冥想房於是成為擁抱不定的條件的地方。
圓形的冥想房,如同土地一般。雖然看似固定,但可滑動的牆使它看似可變動。隨著陽光和風,轉向任何方向。

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