INSCAPE, a new meditation concept, opened in Manhattan December 2016. Archi-Tectonics created this new meditation concept and design for Inscape not only as a one-off, but also for national and international distribution. The first PROTOspace in Chelsea occupies a large 6000sf ground floor on West 21st street. The space contains a “Dome Room” and an “Alcove room”, an extensive retail space, as well as spacious living rooms.
Meditation requires a different state of mind – We conceived this as a gradual transition from the moment one enters Inscape to the point that one settles in the meditation space itself; a transition into a completely “other” environment with an immersive light- and sound environment. Entering from the hectic streets of Manhattan, one enters a spacious living room with dimmed lights, aroma therapy filtered air, natural linen seating, and large floating ceiling lights by Graypants. The second, more dramatic, transition is experienced when one enters the mediation rooms, where an even more immersive environment envelops the visitor. The bamboo Dome room was developed through a thorough process of 3D design, 1:1 prototyping with robotic CNC routers, and extensive testing of materials used. The Dome is configured by elipsoid bamboo rings, a seating bench below and a bamboo ring above receiving the spiraling bamboo structure, both complemented by an LED ring that adjusts light intensity and color depending on the meditation. Specially designed seating pads by Ligne Roset support the guests in all poses, helping them to balance and focus. This holistic enclosure helps to transform one’s mood and state of being.
LIGHT & SOUND ENVIRONMENT
Meditation Rooms - Upon entering the room, a bamboo entry “portal” envelopes the guests, creating a gradual transition to the dome with its controlled environment of light/ sound / air. Here one can leave the world outside, and focus on oneself, expanding mind and brain. Upon entering the Dome, warm light wraps the guests, after settling on the specifically designed meditation pads, the meditation starts, and the light lowers from the open oculus overhead to the horizon below. The open oculus symbolizes eternal space, and an opening of the mind. The lower ring reminds one of the horizon [ think of the ocean, desert] that induces a calm reflective state of mind.
The indirect lighting within the Dome - designed by Archi-Tectonics and implemented by Claire Solutions using AL Cove DMX High Power linear LED fixtures - is programmed according to the meditation cycle, the light is synchronized with the high-end audio speakers, specially designed for Inscape. Of course no technology is visible in the Dome itself, which feels simple, light and clean.
MATERIALS & PREFAB CONSTRUCTION
An important element of healthy living is created by all elements used in the space to provide a holistic overall concept. Prefab offsite construction, natural recycled and renewable materials, such as bamboo, linen and cardboard that breathe and absorb humidity, are complementing each other. Extensive testing of materials for Dome construction, seating pad comfort and seating spacing in the meditation room, are aimed to feel effortless in the resulting space. Special aroma therapy is integrated in the air filtration system, that cleans the air and enhances a feeling of comfort. Soft gongs sound through the space and allow one’s thoughts to wander. A moment of respite in a busy city is created.
A WBE registered Architectural Design Studio with offices in New York City, the Netherlands and China. We operate at multiple scales of investigation, ranging from objects, to buildings, to urban design. Our design is informed by deep material research and extensive prototyping. We rely on research-based design to generate innovation, and to create evocative and transformative environments, an Architecture that matters. We see innovation as a way to create a unique identity for each project, with task-specific presence and character. We are a diverse team of creative individuals with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, and our close collaboration with consultants, engineers, fabricators and contractors allows for instant feedback and optimization of our ideas. Our close association with academia and cutting-edge research labs allows us to stay at the forefront of design, technology and architectural discourse.
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