Windhover: 2015 BoY Winner for Outdoor
The soaring flight of kestrels, sometimes referred to as windhovers, provided decades of inspiration to painter Nathan Oliveira, an art professor at Stanford University. After his death, his works have found a new home, not to mention new meaning, at the Windhover contemplative center, surrounded by a 1/2-acre garden at the center of the campus. A spiritual sanctuary, part gallery and part chapel, this is a place for students and faculty to find a retreat from the academic pressure-cooker.
“It was critical to Nathan that the building feel organic,” Joshua Aidlin says. So he and David Darling constructed the single-story pavilion from natural materials—rammed earth and stained oak—as well as glass to bring the outdoors into what otherwise might have been too museumlike a setting. The two partners furthermore broke up fully enclosed volumes with open-air courtyards. Planting stands of bamboo alongside the courtyards to shield them from passersby was Andrea Cochran’s idea. Right outside the entry, meanwhile, is a reflecting pool. “The meditation experience starts at the street, with shedding the concerns of daily life, Cochran says. Critical to the composition too, are a grove of oaks and a labyrinth in granite.
You can see why both firms have won a National Design Award.
Photography: Matthew Millman.