The time of nature : a retreat in Northern California
Author(s)Lyon, Christopher McTee
Retreat in Northern California
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Bill Hubbard, Jr.
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This design thesis explores the relationship between building and the natural environment. The design and site, a retreat in a wild area of the California coast, were chosen to provide ample engagement of this theme. The design concept is to design a retreat whose architecture is inspired by rhythms of time in nature. The site , Sinkyone Wilderness Park, provides a diverse landscape with several specific sites that are dominated by temporal rhythms in nature. Four such sites have been chosen: 1. The Redwood Grove , temporal rhythm is long , the trees are two thousand years old and insulate the micro-climate under the forest canopy from seasonal changes; 2. The Sea Cliff, temporal rhythm is the periodicity of the tides; 3. The Hilltop, temporal rhythm is dominated by the yearly changes in the sky and heavens ; 4. The fault-line Rift Valley, a micro-climate of high seasonal response in foliage and animal life. The retreat occupies all four sites. A guest stays a few nights at each. Although each retreat fragment has been designed to respond to its micro-environment, the experience of the whole is to accentuate a way of being in and looking at the landscape that is consistent, and is based on the initial design concept. The retreat's function is divided programatically into two basic divisions; chapel or meditation spaces, and the sleeping and eating spaces. The chapel spaces have responded most directly to the sites' temporal nature, capturing in their focus the unique quality about the site. The dwelling spaces, though architecturally linked to the chapel space, play off of the intense focus of the chapel space by accentuating the act of habitation and dwelling on that site. The four retreat dwellings are explored in site models and the development of the designs. A narrative that leads one through the site will give an experience of the retreat.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1988.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 77).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology