Drawing inspiration from people wanting to get back in touch with the peace and quiet of nature, the Silent Meditation Forest Cabin design competition sought proposals for a series of 15m² off-the-grid meditation cabins in rural Latvia.
Entrants from around the world had to come up with an eco-friendly, cost-effective cabin design that can be easily constructed and replicated across the forested sites of Ozolini, a Latvian tea company that opens their farm to tourists as a meditative nature retreat. The winning proposals will be considered for realization.
The competition jury selected the three prize winners, a Student Winner, and Green Award winner. Scroll down to check out their designs.
1ST PLACE: “Solo Cabin” by David Florez, Stefani Zlateva | Austria
Jury commentary: “‘Solo Cabin’ is an arrangement of 3 stacked spaces sized 2x2 meters and placed at various angles, a design decision which highlights the various layers of nature, allowing visitors to experience it from the forest floor to the branches of the tree canopy. The submission includes a collection of drawings and renderings that are provocative, unique, and highly developed with advanced construction details. The structure is clad in wood planks juxtaposed perpendicularly, recalling techniques found in examples of traditional Latvian architecture; it is topped by a roof of polycarbonate sheets that bring in natural daylight from above. The opaque wood shell highlights the transparent stacked windows that protrude from it and provide focus points to various surrounding forest elements. The jury questions the sole use of a hammock for sleeping, but otherwise finds the project and its graphic methods refreshing. It is a design that could be readily built.”
2ND PLACE + STUDENT AWARD: “Nest” by Marko Simsiö - University of Oulu | Finland
Jury commentary: “The ‘Nest’ is a meditative treehouse. The jury was pleased with this submission’s use of the trees to provide a home to a meditative cabin isolated in a quiet space above the ground. The project includes a detailed and captivating description of a visitor’s arrival to the forest, and his or her experience traveling to and entering the cabin. The design employs a charred-wood cladding that blends the cabin with the bark of the forest trees; this material also increases the cabin’s resistance to inclement weather and decay. On the interior, a light spruce finish gives way to a warm space that is strikingly different from the exterior shell. The project is decidedly spartan, providing little else than a protective enclosure to sleep within the forest, and it offers a single vertical window for observing the surroundings. The drawings reflect the project’s simplicity. To consider construction, the details would need to be further advanced to include insulation and waterproofing. Nevertheless, the project is feasible and provides minimal disturbance to the forest.”
3RD PLACE: “Aesthesia” by Karolina Kiełpińska, Marta Lisiakiewicz, Emilia Oworuszko, Aleksandra Białkowska - Wroclaw University of Science and Technology | Poland
Jury commentary: “The project is entitled Aesthesia, a term representing the ability to experience sensation. The proposed rectilinear constructions in this submission are comprised of rooms organized linearly according to the senses of touch, sight, and hearing; the designer describes this arrangement as ‘a guiding path to mindfulness’. The typical block-form is divided into halves, one a zone of meditation, and the other a zone for the basic human needs of sleeping, eating, and using the toilet. In each of the sensory spaces, an architectural element - a thin window, perforated metal pipes, textured floors - is employed to isolate and place focus on a particular sensation. Through these means complexity is derived from an otherwise spatially simple design. The project is a clever and thoughtful response to the call for a meditative space within the forest.”
BB GREEN AWARD: “Enveloping” by Andrii Koval, Olha Laktionova | Ukraine
You can find the Honorable Mentions and the rest of the winning entries in full detail here.
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