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Sprout Meditation Center


A rainy backpacking trip through the woods with family and friends became the inspiration for this children’s hospital meditation center. Soothing greens mixed with accents of yellow and orange give the room a peaceful, yet somewhat playful atmosphere. Movable seating paired with larger, more permanent chairs allow freedom of movement within the space, mimicking the wind blowing through the flowers and grass. Inside the tree house chapel, soft rainbow lights filter down, giving the room a quiet and reverent feel for moments of solitude. The brown carpet tiles imitate forest paths and lead the user outside to enjoy the water feature or explore the sand garden.

Floor Plan

To give this space a more human-centered design, creative research was done in the form of a backpacking trip with my family. I gave journals to my children and had them join me in drawing pictures of our camping experience. We camped on a mountain side and during the night, the wind was so strong, it collapsed our tents several times. Early in the morning, we moved our tents back down into the forest, then went hiking around the mountain that afternoon. When our trip was over, I collected the drawings and made some observations.

It was interesting to note that the memories of the backpacking experience were included in both drawings that my children made, but that none of those memories made it into my drawings. The stark contrast between the perspective of the children’s drawings verses my own inspired the natural elements in the Meditation Center. Nature is a respite for many people and by abstractly incorporating natural elements into the space, the users will feel calmer.

I took these ideas and tried incorporating them into a study model by including stained glass windows and large abstract artwork coming out of the walls. I discovered that the stained glass didn’t work well, but using light that would shed rainbow lights down the wall, could be even better since the lights could adapt to user preference in the chapel area.

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