WINDHOVER CONTEMPLATIVE CENTER AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY -
San Francisco California, 2014
Architects: Aidlin Darling Design
Design Team: Joshua Aidlin, David Darling, Roslyn Cole, Kent Chiang, and Melinda
Client: Stanford University
General Contractor: SC Builders
Structural Engineers: Rutherford & Chekene
Civil Engineers: BKF Engineers
Lighting Designers: Auerbach Glasow French
Acoustical Consultant: Charles Salter Associates
Daylighting and MEP Schematic Narrative Consultants: Loisos + Ubbelohde
Landscape Architects: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Photographers: Courtesy of Aidlin Darling Design
The Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University. Inspired by Nathan Oliveira’s meditative Windhover paintings. The single-story, 4,000-square-foot spiritual retreat is intended to provide students, faculty and staff members a quiet place of refuge from the intensity of daily life.
The Center is located in front of Roble Hall, adjacent to a natural oak grove. The extended progression to the building’s entry through a long, private garden sheltered from its surroundings by a line of tall bamboo, will allow visitors to shed the outside world before entering.
The Center includes three rooms featuring five large paintings by the late artist Nathan Oliveira. Within, the space opens fully to the oak glade beyond, while louvered skylights wash the 15 to 30-foot-long paintings with natural light, unifying art, architecture, and landscape. Thick rammed earth walls and wood surfaces further heighten the visitor’s sensory experience acoustically, tactilely, olfactory, as well as visually.
Benches and cushions are strategically placed to allow members of the Stanford Community to quietly view the paintings inside, as well as the oak grove and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden outside. The building, enclosed in glass, allows viewing of the Oliveira paintings from the exterior as well as from within, at all hours of the day and night.