Moment for Reflection

Senior Thesis Studio, Fall 2012

Yale College

Professors:Turner Brooks & Tom Zook

Site: Stoney Creek Quarry, Branford, CT

This project focuses on creating a space for a single person to occupy for introspective and meditative purposes. The structure is located in a granite stone quarry, and incorporates the natural material into its design. The structure clings to a void in the stone created by the quarry excavation process, and utilizes the rectangular shape as an interior room. A wooden, cantilevered deck is attached to the face of the stone as an extension of the meditative space, and hovers over a body of water. The multi-level roof covers the ‘stone room’ as well as the man-made addition, and aids in delineating the two spaces. Built into the floor of the deck are seats for one to enjoy different views of the quarry during self-reflection. The proximity to the water and stone connects the occupant to nature, which is known to facilitate inner harmony and meditation. Light also plays a role in the introspective aura of the pavilion. The roofs and columns are aligned with sun patterns specific to the site and permit various amounts of light into the space as dictated by the time of day. The soft light of dawn illuminates the space in the morning, but in the afternoon the space is well shaded due to the angle of the columns and roof placement. At sunset, the columns allow stripes of colored light to shine into the space, creating a serene ambiance. The project’s relationship to its surrounding environment allows for peaceful self-reflection in a tranquil setting.