“One of my favorites. It showed such restraint in the indoor/outdoor relationship. It was seamless”.
— 2017 Awards Jury
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Windhover Contemplative Center by Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture,
Appreciation towards ASLA for providing the following description:
The Windhover Contemplative Center, named for a series of paintings by artist Nathan Oliveira, simultaneously functions as an art gallery, spiritual sanctuary, and contemplative garden on the busy Stanford Campus. Using Oliveira’s art as a vehicle for personal renewal, the center provides a place for students, faculty, and staff to decompress and re-center themselves. The integrated design capitalizes on the building’s unique context — adjacent to an existing oak woodland – to provide a series of spaces that allow visitors to experience Oliveira’s paintings in concert with an inspiring natural setting. A collaborative approach to building and landscape shaped nearly every aspect of the design, from the carefully choreographed entry sequence; to the visual and physical permeability between the interior and exterior spaces; to the interplay between the building materials, light, and shadow. Windhover represents a new typology for institutional design, offering a lush, green sanctuary for viewing art and fostering personal well-being.
▲WINDHOVER沉思中心场地平面 WINDHOVER CONTEMPLATIVE CENTER SITE PLAN
Windhover 沉思中心是由一个停车场改造而成的，四周环绕着橡树，内部设有一个4000平方英尺的艺术画廊，以及一系列静谧的户外空间，用来展示Nathan Oliveira的作品。 Nathan Oliveira是位艺术家，也是斯坦福大学的教授，于2011年去世，艺术中心为实现他的梦想，用这片沉思空间展示他因受诗歌和斯坦福周围的风景启发而创作的作品。
▲从一开始，建筑师和景观设计设想的建筑和景观便紧密结合，from the outset, the architect and landscape architect envisioned the structure and landscape as fully integrated.
▲藏匿于忙碌的校园中的Windhover沉思中心，为忙碌的斯坦福大学学生提供一个静谧的喘息场所，tucked into the busy campus, the Windhover Contemplative Center offers a tranquil respite for busy Stanford University students.
▲一条碎石路引导访客穿过银杏林，在进入沉思中心前摆脱掉外部世界的嘈杂，a crushed stone path leads visitors through a grove of ginkgo trees, allowing them to shed the outside world before entering the center.
▲通过精心的细节处理和材料选择，景观设计师力求达到室内外空间的融合，through careful detailing and material selection, the landcape architect ensured the exterior thresholds merge with the interior spaces.
▲一个室内、外的无缝连接试图使访客能够体验到Oliveira的作品与沉思景观之间的联系，a seamless connection between inside and outside allows visitors to experience Oliveira’s art in concert with the meditative landscape.
▲静水池联系着建筑，景观，土地和天空，a reflecting pool unites building and landscape, earth and sky.
▲夯土墙表面和水面捕捉着空间中光影变化，planar surfaces of rammed earth and water capture light and shadow as they move through the space.
▲该项目代表了机构性景观设计的新类型，其设计以反思和冥想维持个人幸福感的普遍需要为前提，the project represents a new typology in institutional design, founded on the premise that there is a universal need for reflection and quiet contemplation to sustain personal well-being.
▲该中心的外部空间在一天中的任何时候都可以进入，即使中心的画廊已经关闭，也确保访客可以享受其庭院带来的宁谧，the exterior spaces are accessible at any time of day, allowing visitors to reap the benefits of the center even when the gallery is closed.
▲学生和访客可以享受自己动手营造空间的乐趣，特别是在开放的日式禅院中，students and guests enjoy making the space their own, especially in the open-air Japanese inspired zen garden.
▲这里的迷宫是Chartes大教堂内迷宫的复制品。学生可以在其中行走以摆脱日常生活的压力，the labyrinth is a replica of the Chartes Catherdral original. Students walk the space to shed the stress of everyday life.
▲针对该项目，景观设计师咨询了斯坦福大学的树木学专家以确保场地内的树木的健康，并得到合理的保护。另外，景观设计师还与建筑师合作，将现有树木的枝干引入到了建筑内的开放空间，the landscape architects consulted with Stanford’s arborist throughout the project to ensure the health and protection of the site’s trees, and, together with the architects, to incorporate the limbs of an existing tree into an opening in the building overhang.
▲毗邻的橡树林被认为是蝾螈的栖息地，因此在施工过程中受到了悉心的保护。该场内地还包含几棵本地橡树和校园内唯一的桧树，the oak woodland adjacent to the site, designated as a salamander habitat, was carefully protected throughout construction. The site contains several native oaks and the university’s only Chinaberry tree.
Set within an existing oak woodland on the site of a former parking lot, the Windhover Contemplative Center is comprised of a 4,000-square-foot art gallery and a series of tranquil outdoor spaces dedicated to exhibiting Nathan Oliveira’s work as a vehicle for personal renewal. While the artist and Stanford professor passed away in 2011, the center realizes his dream that his paintings, inspired by poetry and the landscapes around Stanford, be displayed in a dedicated, contemplative space immersed in nature.
The long, narrow building, on a one-acre site, is bounded by a major campus thoroughfare, a heavily used bike path, and a large dormitory. The carefully choreographed entry sequence provides an experientially rich transition between the bustling campus and the chapel-like gallery: a crushed stone path leads visitors through a grove of ginkgo trees and past a tall wall of bamboo, allowing them to shed the outside world before entering the center. Within the building, the interior spaces merge with a series of outdoor rooms intended for quiet contemplation. Wide panes of glass and vertical fins frame views back out to the woodland and courtyards. At the rear of the building, a still reflecting pool defined by a rammed earth wall, a weathered steel screen, and a stand of bamboo are designed to quiet surrounding distractions and turn visitors’ focus towards the ephemera around them. At the core of the building, a Zen-inspired courtyard opens to both the sky above and the adjacent oak woodland, offering views of a meditative labyrinth nestled among the trees beyond.
Collaborative Design Approach
From the outset, both the architect and landscape architect envisioned the structure and landscape as fully integrated, and this concept shaped nearly every aspect of the project. This process began with careful siting of the building. At the street side where visitors approach the entry, the architecture subtly hovers above the ground. A sense of procession into a sacred space begins the moment the visitor steps past the weathered steel scrim that serves as a threshold between the street and the center. As the visitor approaches the front door, the architecture and landscape work in harmony to seamlessly negotiate the four-foot grade change that occurs over the length of the site. The long, linear building changes in concert with the gently sloping topography, nestling into the earth at the opposite end. The grade change, though subtle, is an essential component to the experience of approaching and receding deeper towards an experience of contemplation and reflection.
In addition to this reciprocity between the architect and landscape architect, a number of other collaborations shaped the design. Throughout the process, the team worked with Stanford’s Dean of Religious Life as well as students at the university to incorporate their goals for the center into the design. They also met with the family of artist Nathan Oliveira and spent time at his studio to ensure that the new complex would appropriately honor his legacy.
The practical aspects of realizing the project required working closely with a number of consultants at the university. The landscape architects consulted with Stanford’s arborist throughout the project to ensure the health and protection of the site’s trees, and — together with the architects — to incorporate the limbs of an existing tree into an opening in the building overhang. The team also worked with the campus project manager to select salvaged stone pieces for sculptural elements from the campus “bone yard.”
The project’s setting on the busy Stanford campus presented a number of unique challenges. Providing a sense of privacy required visually screening out the distractions of the adjacent street, bike path, and dormitory. The design team balanced this imperative with campus safety concerns by implementing strategies that create a feeling of enclosure while maintaining permeability. Scrims and porous plantings maintain a sense of openness and visibility that ensures that visitors feel safe in the center at any time of day. Given the residential nature of the campus, it was important to the design team that the landscape courtyards remain accessible at night. Even when the building is closed, students can view the paintings within the center and reap the benefits of the meditative spaces and natural setting.
The unique ecological context of the site also strongly influenced the project. The oak woodland adjacent to the site, designated as a salamander habitat, was carefully protected throughout construction. In addition, the site contains a number of native oaks, California pepper trees, and the university’s only Chinaberry tree; the project team worked to design and site the building elements around this sensitive ecosystem. Sustainable principles also shaped the project’s planting design, which consists of low water use and low maintenance species.
Materials and Installation
The project’s innovative materials palette reinforces the deep engagement with nature that is integral to the program and overall design concept for the complex. Rammed earth walls, weathered steel, stone, water, gravel and decomposed granite immerse visitors in a tactile environment. These materials amplify the experience of ephemeral phenomena, drawing visitors’ attention to the sound of stone crunching underfoot, the movement of the breeze across the water, the play of light and shadow against planar surfaces.
The clean tectonics that the design team envisioned for the project required thoughtful detailing and a high level of craftsmanship, goals complicated by the realities of an aggressive schedule and a tight budget. Challenged to create a museum-quality space with limited resources, the landscape architects devised innovative approaches to preserving the integrity of the design. These strategies included sourcing sculptural elements from the university’s “bone yard” (a site with remnant stone pieces from previous construction projects), and detailing the reflecting pool to be cast in one pour — a feat that required careful detailing and oversight to ensure quality control. Moreover, in the absence of a fountain consultant, the landscape architects worked with the landscape contractor to design-build the mechanical system for the pool.
A New Paradigm
The project represents a new typology in institutional design, founded on the premise that there is a universal need for reflection and quiet contemplation to sustain personal well-being, and that the combination of art and nature can act as a source of spiritual renewal. Windhover offers the Stanford community a place unlike any other to shed the daily intensity of the academically challenging university environment and replenish their inner spirits—and in turn, their energy, creativity, and passion.
Design Team: Andrea Cochran, FASLA, Megumi Aihara, ASLA, Horng-Sheng Tu, ASLA
Client: Maggie Burgett
Project Manager Architect:idlin Darling Design
Structural/Geotechnical Engineers: Rutherford and Chekene Structural and Geotechnical Engineers
Civil Engineer/MEP: BKF Engineers
General Contractor: SC Builders
Landscape Contractor: Techcon Landscape
Lighting: Auerbach Glasow French Design
Building Fountain Contractor: Monument Pools