I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more. —John Burroughs, American naturalist and writer, (1837-1921)
The voices of modern day life penetrate one’s thought process and disconnect one’s once rooted self, creating a surface existence rather than living deeply connected in mind, body, and soul. The Way project addresses the contrasts between the clutter that fills daily life and that of personal sacred space. Designed to be an open air sanctuary, The Way, brings together both the natural elements of the environment and industrial elements as integral components woven together to create a personal and scared space amid the vulnerable landscape of life. Throughout history there has been an importance placed on the sacred and personal journeys of humankind. Each culture in it’s own way celebrates this importance and recognizes the need to align the mind, body, and soul. Drawing from traditions found in Medieval cathedrals The Way incorporates a labyrinth as a tool of mindful meditation into the open air sanctuary and meditation garden for use as an instrument of purposeful retreat. Conscious reflection is a universal need of the human condition. For that reason, this space is intended for all who would come regardless of socioeconomic status or religious background. The space is designed to not have walls or another structures that would restrict access thus creating a common yet vulnerable ground to meet with one’s internal voice alone or within the community formed of those using the space. Following ideologies of current Green movements, this project utilizes reclaimed industrial materials which are repurposed and transform into more fluid conceptual elements that seamlessly flow with the organic boulders and foliage to symbolically and physically encompass the area transforming the environment into a sacred place. Evoking the restorative qualities of nature, The Way creates a physical environment to facilitate a purposeful withdrawal and restoration realigning one’s whole self.