The Contemplative Space | A Woven Space for Introspection
Even though millenia of history were obliterated with the shellmound’s demolition in the 1920’s and the ensuing industrial development through the 1970’s, the site belies layers of history and stratification that inevitably lead us to our present. Gravity and sedimentation have contributed to the subterranean record of a history interred. The Contemplative Space is conceived as an element that is embedded within these layers of history. It provides a moment for pause with the simple volume of a woven structure-a light framework juxtaposed with the mass of earth shaped into a berm.
Structure of the Contemplative Space
The structure creates a thin filtered shell, forming a simple basket-like volume that one can enter.
Added layers of reeds and willows are seasonally woven onto the structure by the community, as part of special yearly events that can be timed with the astronomical calendar.
The structure is open at the top, resembling Native American shelters that required an opening to allow for the exit of smoke from an internal hearth.
The opening is oriented towards Polaris (the North Star), thus relating the project’s past and present with the constellations as they existed then and now.
The internal platform is fabricated from recycled red glass that is cast onto a black grout. The platform is illuminated from below, creating a warm glow reminiscent of embers and fire.