Meditation House by Pascal Arquitectos

Meditation House is a project from 2006 by Mexican architects Pascal Arquitectos.

The building is for the Jewish community in Bosques de las Lomas in Mexico City.

Here's some info from the architects, followed by plans and elevations:

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This is a project with very strong emotional implications. We had to understand the mood of the user, who at such a moment would not care very much for an aesthetical analysis of any place.

At the same time we wanted to create a space that can create a spiritual mood. For this we referred to ancient buildings that were designed for this purpose such as the Egyptian “Mastabas” or some Mayan buildings in Palenque.

Religious rules and buildings codes in the Jewish religion are very strict for this kind of place, and we were guided by several groups of Rabbis for this matter.

A project of this nature must encourage introspection and peaceful visual harmony through a discrete use of materials and lighting.

The construction is located in a residential area and, being planned as an isolated construction from the surroundings, an indoor illuminated yard was built. The building façade is completely covered by Grissal flamed granite.

The building welcomes the visitor with a 6´4” wide and 30´ high triangular wooden door which leads to an access tunnel in the same shape, creating a solemn atmosphere as you enter.

This darkening experience at the entrance ends when the hallway opens to a large, double height granite hall illuminated by the northern light coming from the indoor courtyard with a tall Dracaena at the center and a symbolical abstract sculpture by artist Saul Kaminer as the only artwork piece for decoration.

No furniture was used inside this place, only a floating bench surrounding the room, that is made out of the same wood used in all the building. It also serves to hide all of the air conditioning, speakers and recessed lighting which adds a dramatical touch.

In this way the room shows no added ornament but the light and shade playing on the granite volumes. The ceiling is made of dark cumaru wood and floats without touching any wall; a skylight puts a highlight on this detail.

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Posted by Rose Etherington