Windhover Contemplative Center by Aidlin Darling Design

A unification of art, landscape and architecture.

Project Specs

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Appreciations towards Aidlin Darling Design for providing the following description:

该项目是斯坦福大学的精神庇护所,促使人们重获平静。这里利用Nathan Oliveira的画作,为人们提供了一个远离忙碌日常生活的庇护所,使学生、教职工乃至更大范围的群体全天均可以在这里静思。

The Windhover Contemplative Center is a spiritual retreat on the Stanford campus to promote and inspire personal renewal. Using Nathan Oliveira’s meditative Windhover paintings as a vehicle, the center provides a refuge from the intensity of daily life. It is intended for quiet reflection throughout the day for any Stanford student, faculty, or staff member, as well as for members of the larger community.

▼项目外观,appearance © Aidlin Darling Design


The sanctuary is located in the heart of the campus, 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 allows members of the Stanford community to shed the outside world before entering the sanctuary.

▼庭院,exterior courtyard © Aidlin Darling Design

▼人们可以在室外冥想,people can meditate outdoors © Aidlin Darling Design


Within, the space opens fully to the oak grove to the east and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden beyond.Water, in conjunction with landscape, is used throughout as an aid for contemplation; fountains within the main gallery and the courtyard provide ambient sound while a still reflecting pool to the south reflects the surrounding trees.

▼水与周围景观结合,促进人们冥想,water in conjunction with landscape,as an aid for contemplation © Aidlin Darling Design


Louvered skylights wash the monumental 15 to 30 foot long paintings in natural light. The remaining space is kept intentionally dark to focus the visitor’s attention on the naturally highlighted paintings and the landscape beyond. Thick rammed earth walls and wood surfaces further heighten the visitor’s sensory experience acoustically, tactilely, olfactorily, as well as visually.

▼厚重的夯土墙和木材表面,thick rammed earth walls and wood surfaces © Aidlin Darling Design

▼油画位于天窗下,其余空间保持昏暗,paintings are under the skylight,rest space remains dark © Aidlin Darling Design


Exterior contemplation spaces are integrated into the use of the center, allowing views to the natural surroundings as well as to the paintings within. From the oak grove to the east, visitors can view the paintings glowing within the center without accessing the building,effectively creating a sanctuary for the Stanford community day and night.

▼室内外空间相互渗透,penetration of interior and exterior © Aidlin Darling Design


The Center is conceived of as a unification of art, landscape and architecture to both replenish and invigorate the spirit.

▼夜景,night view © Aidlin Darling Design

▼平面,plan © Aidlin Darling Design

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