MZ architects contemplative meditation house + prayer chamber
all images courtesy of marwan zgheib
blending into its natural surroundings, the ‘meditation house’ by MZ architects has been designed as a place for contemplation and retreat. resembling a giant fallen rock, the weekend house is nestled on the very edge of the hill with panoramic views over neighboring pine forests and facing the seaside. the rocky location offers a complete contrast for the client, and is a place to escape his hectic, business traveling lifestyle. the timelessness of the rugged landscape required a non-invasive structure that would enhance its strong character rather than challenging it. the resulting form is a geometric stone mass with openings on the front and back to allow natural ventilation through the house. the ground level encloses the living, dining and kitchen areas in a single space, while an integrated terrace expands to offer maximum views towards the sea. the back of the interior creates a sense of serenity with controlled natural light and a water feature that collects rainwater.
hidden away from view, the bedrooms are isolated on the upper floor, overlooking the calm landscaping below. from a crack in the center of the roof, a narrow stairway leads one up the sloping hill, cutting into the rocky escarpment. a dark cave-like passage, with limited natural light then connects to a prayer hall, dug vertically into the ground at the top. a single roofless chamber, tilted towards the sky shuts our all sounds from the outside world, and an encompassing silence prevails.
‘connecting between earthly and spiritual realms, the meditation house is meant to provide a retreat at one with nature and engendering a distinctive feeling of peace, harmony and humbleness.’ says marwan zgheib.
prayer hall sketch + plan