We are living in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution where the development of computer networks can expand the human brain to all over the world. In addition, more and more everyday objects are connected to the Internet (IoT), and the lives of “hyper-connectivity” and “super-intelligence” are not unfamiliar. This development of technology makes life more convenient, but against human’s biological instinct, state of always connected with digital makes people stressed and tired. We can see that a lot of countries have culture of looking for stability and rest by their language as ‘au calme (calm)’ in French, ‘hygge (state of comfort and snug, pursuing a simple life and having a quality time with their family and friends) in Danish, ‘querencia (in bullfighting, a certain part of the bull ring where a bull feels strong and safe)’ in Spanish. This is an instinctive reaction to have a self-initiated life while surrounded by a lot of distracted environment. ‘Meditation Space_ the Fluid’ is designed to solve this desire of rest.
The most simple and effective way to solve the desire of rest is meditation. There are various studies that show that training the mind through meditation can lead to functional and structural changes in the brain. Professor Germer of Harvard Medical School said over 40% of American psychologists are using ‘mindfulness’ which is the Buddhist mind performance. Also, there are many psychotherapies as MBSR, MBCT, DBT, ACT, and MBRE.
Dr. Benson, of Harvard Medical School, discovered that when the dilemma which bothered him or her for a while is gone, which means the break out situation appears during meditation, most of the brain activity is decrease (means decreasing of distracting thoughts), yet the activity of the brain part responsible for the attention or awakening brain part or the parasympathetic nervous system causing peace or relaxation is rather increased. For a long period of meditation practice, the activity of the brain hemisphere changes from the right dominance to the left dominance, and it changes into a passionate, optimistic and happy mind.
‘Meditation space_ The Fluid’ is a querencia space for people who suffer from a lot of distraction and stress. ‘The Fluid’ is a space that induces ‘meditation’ naturally to people who do not know about meditation with the effect of relieving stress and enhancing concentration. This space applies the elements of pure nature in the form of building to remove any distractions and induces insight into pure essence.
“The stream of consciousness”
This space is based on Han River in Seoul. Many people visit the Han River for a variety of reasons, and this meditation space has been placed in the Han River Park, allowing for more in-depth relaxation. We made three independent space of wind, water, and light which is typical elements of nature in Han River. Like nature, ‘thoughts and consciousness’ have a fluid flow like a river, so we took the whole concept of space as ‘fluid’. We applied the shape of pure figures to bring the flow of natural elements and the flow of continuous human traffic in space. We tried to express not only void or emptiness but also calm and placid of space by the simple structure. This place provides a resting area and a space to have an insight into oneself as well.
It is surrounded by the curtain wall which made of narrow aluminum cylinder-like poles as a fence. Through the curtain wall, there will be a distinction from the outside and inside. The curtain walls, which are not completely blocked, distinguish boundaries while maintaining communication between space and space. Difference materials and ceiling heights of different spaces give a distinctly different feeling of space.
- Wind Zone
It is a space that expresses the wind in a square shape and it is a space where you can experience the characteristics of the wind intensively. Two walls out of four walls are made of louver boards which shift to left and right as direction and strength of wind changes. The view of outside which can be watched inside is edited by wind because the louver board’s angle is changed by the wind. Therefore, you can see two different versions of outside view in one spot. Louver board angle also affects sunlit street of inside so that you can feel the wind through sense of sight, hearing, and touch. We installed various kind of sunbeds and stools and remained the floor as original grass of the park to make people feel free to come around and enjoy like they having a picnic.
- Water Zone
Water is expressed in the form of a symbolic circle. The waves of the lake, the water in the cup, etc. we are usually overlooking the surface of the water, but in this space, they experience the experience of looking up at the water. Its ceiling is installed with a glassed water tank which has a large fan making waves. Lights inside of the tank project unique water shadow onto a white cylinder-like wall so that people can feel as there’re in the water. By changing the point of view of looking at water, people temporarily lost their sense of time and space, and the effect of meditation appears. There are a couple of stools to slightly lean on which is 730mm height because it can be little dizzy if you keep looking up the water yet we don’t want you to settle down here completely.
- Light Zone
It expresses light in the form of a triangle and is a space that actively utilizes the natural light of the sky. As this space represents light, it has the highest ceiling (max 6000mm) among the three zones. We picked the shape of the sloping ceiling to give a dramatic effect as people walked in from the entrance. Through the wind zone to the light zone, people are able to reach a deeper level of meditation. The narrow entrance of 800mm width is a device for maximizing the dramatic effect in a narrow space. Across the entrance, there is a narrow, long skylight, with a glass triangular pillar that gives a prism effect. When the skylight coming through the prism, you can have different experiences of light depends on the weather and time of the day. The material of the space was unified with hard concrete so that people could feel a sense of separation from the outside and the inside so that they could concentrate on ‘present’ out of the ‘complex idea of the outside’. In the central ceiling, there is a triangular-shaped window that spreads from top to bottom, releasing the stiffness of the thick concrete, and the soft light of the diffusion effect enters the space. It covered with clear glass and it allows us to watch raindrop and snowing without getting wet. Also, the inclined ceiling makes raindrop or snow to roll down itself. Beneath the central ceiling, there are several stools that are wide enough to allow people to lie down or sit comfortably. By separating the position of the inlet and the outlet, we made a natural flow of people’s flow. Even there’s no hinged door, the free-standing walls in front of entrance and exit block out the light between inside and outside as well as people’s sight.
These three meditation zones give the experience of looking at large chunks of nature in pieces. It also gives a clue to simplify the complexity. We hoped that visitors to this space could gain insight here. Or just want this space to be a place where you can relax.
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