Author: Yen-Jung Wu
Instructor: Marlon Blackwell
University of Texas at Austin- school of architecture
Tower Monastery examines the relationship of religious and secular spaces within a monastery through an adaptation of a Catholic monastery typology. The building establishes a symbiotic relationship between both secular and religious programs within the monastery. Projections, views, light, and scale are used to generate an understanding of how religious and secular spaces interface with each other and with the public. A tall, solid central church space acts as the organizing center of the more intimate secular programs. These transparent secular spaces act as the monastery’s primary interface with the public putting the academic and living activities of monks on display while their worship is secluded. Light into the church only exists through punctures generated by secular programs that allow a vertical cloister with views across and a voyeuristic relationship between secular and religious. While Tower Monastery attempts to overturn preconceptions of how monastery’s secular and religious spaces interact with each other and the public, it attempts to maintain many of the traditional needs of a Catholic monastery’s religious spaces. Tower Monastery attempts to play a role beyond establishing beauty and functionality and actively curate and reconsider organizations in ways that provoke interactions that hopefully instigate stronger awareness of environment and self.