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Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge P&T-1- 42 copy P&T-1- 39 copy P&T-1- 36 copy Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge Forest Refuge

Forest Refuge 1998–2001 (unbuilt) | Barre, Massachusetts

This Buddhist retreat on a forested site in central Massachusetts is designed as a total environment — nature and buildings — for intensive long-term meditation practice. Major zones of activity are organized in a linear way, changing direction to follow the line where the forest meets a meadow. The buildings define the spatial threshold between the two landscape elements. Roofs are larger than the buildings they cover, serving to mediate scale shifts between the space of the interior rooms and the space of the site. They also extend the spatial trajectory to the horizon beyond. To sustain a state of elemental simplicity and simultaneous vitality, we intentionally designed the architecture to be “quiet” and “slow.”

principal
Michael Rotondi

project leaders
James Bassett
Basil Romano

project team
Claudia Montesinos
Kirby Smith
Tenzin Thokme
Jose Gonzalez
Ben Ives
Charles Low
Jose Colombari

color / finishes
Deborah Cake