Stanford University has planned to develop the Windhover Contemplative Center on its campus for about 15 years, and this week, construction finally began on the small building. Designed by San Francisco-based firm Aidlin Darling Design, the new building will replace a former parking lot in front of Robie Hall. The center will be constructed with rammed earth and wood walls, and it will feature a reflecting pool and other water features that will help promote meditation.
The Windhover Contemplative Center will be a meditation center that is intended for spiritual retreat on the Stanford University campus. Artist Nathan Oliveira, who died in 2010, had a dream of building a quiet space where people could quietly meditate while looking at his paintings of birds in flight. Now, the Oliveira’s vision is finally taking shape. Adlin Darling Design took inspiration from Oliveira’s Windhover paintings for the design of the building, and five of Oliveira’s large paintings will be hung on the walls. Due to the building’s large walls of glass, visitors will be able to view the paintings both inside and outside the new center.
As visitors enter the building, they will pass through a long garden that is separated from its surroundings by a long stand of bamboo, which provides a physical barrier between the meditative space and the outside world. The project will be constructed with rammed earth walls, which will add to the building’s natural, sensory experience. Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture will be collaborating with Adlin Darling to design the new center’s exterior spaces. Construction on the new meditation center began this week, and work is expected to be completed in spring 2014.