work / Silent Creature

Een plek voor meditatie en bezinning

Samen met Architects United   hebben we meegewerkt aan het ontwerp van een meditatie cabin in de Letse bossen.

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The silent creature stands proud and mindful in the green Latvian forest. High on its legs it feels most comfortable near the treetops, looking out over the lake or lush meadows. Grounded in these magical woods of optimal biodiversity it seems to inhale the stillness of its surroundings. The creature is not there to disrupt; it is there to appreciate and pass on its peacefulness to its visitors.

From the outside the creature has a different appearance on every side. Like the surrounding trees, it is never symmetrical but still has its own distinct form derived from the inside. Because of its raised floor, nature is invited to grow underneath, giving way for possible mushrooms or mosses to thrive. Voluble plants are invited to crawl up on its legs.

Constructed of locally attained cross-laminated timber (CLT), the creature finds its roots within the land. The thickness of the wooden panels protects the visitor from the elements. Warmth, security and a sense of belonging are guaranteed.
Invited by its privacy and stillness the creature welcomes its visitor to become part of this beautiful stillness in time. Ascending the first ladder, the visitor becomes aware of the uniqueness of this experience.

When entering the belly of the beast, a blanket of quietness seems to instantly take the load off the visitor’s shoulders. He or she finds himself or herself in a compact yet serene space containing all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. In addition to its facades, the CLT is also used as an interior finish, making a connection between the inside and the outside. With its tactility the wood gives of a feeling of warmth and groundedness.
The creature’s interior feels surprisingly spacious with natural light coming in from all different angels providing well-adjusted light for every function. Because of its open plan the interior has a clear overview. Yet all the different functions have their own specific form and measurements.

The interior layout was programmed by a distinct view on the goals of the visitor. Although the creature provides a beautiful serene space for meditation looking out over the woods from its top level, inner peace can also be found on the ‘service level.’

Taking a shower, doing the dishes, lying in the bed; within the interior layout all of these activities have its own area providing a different view on the surrounding forest. With a distinct space for carrying out each activity consciously, the visitor becomes fully aware of each action. While appreciating the simplicity of daily activities, the realisation arises that peace can be found within all of us at any given

With the necessary water coming in from the rain-catching basin on the roof, a rechargeable battery and a wood stove, the visitor has nothing to worry about. The rainwater is being filtered at the outlet of the basin before it runs through the pipes, extra hygienic precautions can be taken by boiling the water at the wood stove. The battery is provided by the Ozolini household on the visitor’s arrival and can be recharged there when empty. In this way, the visitor becomes aware of his or her energy use. For extra warmth the visitor may use the wood stove which can be fueled by wood from the forest. A dry toilet and recycle bins are present.