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Thesis Research by Laurin Meredith


“A new way of thinking has become the necessary condition for responsible living and acting. If we maintain obsolete values and beliefs, a fragmented consciousness and self-centered spirit, we will continue to hold onto outdated goals and behaviors.� - Dalai Lama


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 10 Project Description Location Scope of Study Visitors RESEARCH 17 Observation Research DESIGN 35 Concept Location Process Areas Diagrams Design APPENDIX 83 Case Study Bibliography

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Thesis Research

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Unfortunately it is very challenging for our current society to have the time or space to be able to stop and observe. This is particularly challenging to people who live in urban cities and for our technology driven society. Often times we are so disconnected and over simulated that we do not even have time to simply think. I believe that sitting in observation will help humans understand why we react the way we do to particular situations. I believe that these reactions come from four basic emotions. By taking time to observe and understanding our reactions, and the emotions that follow, we are then aware of ourselves. I believe that sitting in stillness with our own minds will free us from the ties of our own thoughts and emotions (or our unconscious) and allow us to be open and aware (conscious) of our present reality. Thus leading us to inward peace and fulfilled life. If we find time to stop and observe ourselves, then we will have taken the first step towards becoming aware. After finding time to stop, we will learn how to let go. After letting go, we can learn how to listen. Only after we learned to listen, we can understand how we feel. If we know how we feel, we are aware of how others feel. If we know how we feel, we understand why we suffer. If we know how to stop our suffering, then we know how to stop others suffering. If we are all aware, then we will all have understanding.

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Thesis Research

If everyone is their best being, then we are the best beings. Achieve best being through, understanding self. Understand self by, listening to self. Listen to self by, being still. If everyone is their best being, then we are the best beings. Achieve best being through, balance of life. Balance life by, prioritizing self. Prioritize self by, understanding being. If everyone is their best being, then we are the best beings. Achieve best being through, enlightenment. Find enlightenment by, understanding being. Understand being by, being still. If everyone is enlightened, then we are free from self. Without self, there is only being. By being, we are no longer unconscious. Without unconsciousness, we are now living.

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Thesis Research

Introduction

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Project Description

I have designed a space that promotes self reflection and encourages balance in all aspects of life. This space will interest visitors of many different backgrounds, all with the common goal to have some where to sit, rest and reflect. The goal will be to capture these visitors in there search for silence and then teach them how to listen and, ultimately, better understand themselves. If they have conscious understanding of their emotional responses then they can be free from the withstrant the unknown causes. In this program you will find research supporting the following; why our society, particularly New Yorkers, need to find peace and balance; how we can find that balance based on our primal emotions; and solutions for understanding our own thoughts and emotions. This project concept can be adapted to any society in the world. The goal is that this program can adapt to any local native environment, changing in shape and form, but always keeping the same design concept. This particular program has been designed for the native environment of New York City. The design solution will flow from a natural outdoor park into a fully conditioned man made space. The overall cohesive aspect, along with serenity and peacefulness, will be the incorporation and balance of the four elements, water, land, air and fire. Clarity and simplicity will also be extremely important to allow the users to exist in the environment without any added stress or confusion. If we have harmony in ourselves then we have harmony in the world.


Thesis Research

Location Map by Radical Cartography

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Scope of Study

In order to influence the users to create change in there lives, this space will take advantage of their preconceived desire to rest. From here the facility will draw the users into the main conditioned space by interesting them through natural curiosity. Once they are in this space they will be introduced to the idea that there may be more to the act of sitting and resting. Once this concept is understood the user will move on into the rooms that area conditioned specifically for guided meditation and yoga. This facility can be broken down into three main areas based on the stages of change; contemplation, preparation, and action. There are two other stages of change that will be silently integrated into the project. They are pre-contemplation, anything off site, and maintenance, the continuous cycle of the main three stages.

Contemplation Public Park Outdoor Seating Preparation Separate Entrance Land Floor Water Floor Air Floor Sun Floor Restrooms

Action Arrival Area Book-stand Consultation Rooms Conscious Rooms Informal Theatre Admin Offices Staff Areas Lockers Restrooms Showers


Thesis Research

Outdoor Seating: An open area that will attract local passersby as well as be a destination feature for those looking for a place to rest or escape the city. Land Floor: A space that will reflect the natural elements of land. This area is dedicated to the blending of natural spaces and man made structures. This will be one of the four areas that will be for selfguided understanding and informal guided self understanding. Water Floor: A space that will reflect the natural elements of water. This area is dedicated to the blending of natural spaces and man made structures. This will be one of the four areas that will be for selfguided understanding and informal guided self understanding. Air Floor: A space that will reflect the natural elements of air. This area is dedicated to the blending of natural spaces and man made structures. This will be one of the four areas that will be for selfguided understanding and informal guided self understanding.

Sun Floor: A space that will reflect the natural elements of sun. This area is dedicated to the blending of natural spaces and man made structures. This will be one of the four areas that will be for selfguided understanding and informal guided self understanding. Arrival Area: The main entrance to condition facility. It is a main point of information and direction as well as checking in. It is important this area is calm and welcoming to all. Conscious Rooms: Dedicated rooms for guided meditation and yoga. These rooms will hold up to 30 people and will be open to members when not in use. Informal Theatre: This room will be designed for films, lectures and courses. It will also be used as a digital guided mediation room when not in use.

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victoriamayharrison.tumblr.com


Thesis Research

Visitors

At this location the space will be open to all passing by. This will include both local New Yorkers and visiting tourist. The average age of visitors will range from 18 to 70. There will not be any signs of religious affiliation and there should not be any religious discrimination. The most frequent users are expected to be business men and women all looking for a temporary quiet resting ground. Visitors will include, but are not limited to, the following: A person looking for a place to rest on their lunch break A person who is tired of walking around A person who wants to observe A person who is interested in Interior Architecture A person who likes to meditate A person who is upset for any reason A person who is looking for silence A person who is looking for answers A person seeking awareness A person who is ready to be a better ‘self’ A person looking for guidance A person who is working on achieving balance in life A person who is seeking peace A person looking to expand their thinking A person looking to understand

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deuneva.tumblr.com


Thesis Research

Behavior Research

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What if I told you there was a way to solve all of your problems? What If I told you, you already knew? What if I told you that finding stillness did more that teach you patience? What if I told you that there was a cure and you already have it?


Thesis Research

Introduction

In my behavioral research I will first look at our society. It is important to understand that this an issue that is larger than any one group of people. For this facility I will focus particularly on those that live and work in the Metro New York area, but the psychological research can be applied to all humans. First we will understand what leads this group of people to feel lost, disconnected, overwhelmed, frustrated, etc., and then how our own natural biological reactions are the cause of our suffering and lack of peace. Once the underling issues are understood we will then begin to look at the following: What it means to have good mental health; Why this is important; How our most natural reactions have turned us against ourselves; What are the natural emotions that drive our reactions; How balance and self-awareness in all aspects of life it the ultimate goal; and last, How self-observation will help us achieve both inner and outer peace.

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The New York Dream

= High Living Cost & Low Wages

Personal Observation + Working longer, harder hours

= Less time for self rest and reflection

+ Uncontrollable Emotional Reactions

= Laurin Meredith

Confused and Irritated Society


Thesis Research

“I came here to live out my dream.” - Every New Yorker

As of Oct 2016 NYC has the highest rent in the US at $3,370 for 1BR and with a median income at 55k.1 That leaves 14k for taxes.

New Yorks have an average of a 49hr work week. The highest in the US. 2

In an avg. workday, a New Yorker will have 7 hours of sleep, 2hrs to get ready, 45min commute, 9hrs of work, 45min commute, 4.5hrs to eat dinner, see family, prepare for tomorrow, and maybe rest. 3

75% - 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. 4

70% of Americans feel over stressed on daily basis. Full list of effects on next page. 5

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I have found that in urban environments there is a higher level of fight for survival. This means that we are constantly on edge and ready for the next battle and there is hardly time to react consciously. Instead we often react with our natural instinct of fear which drives our survival. Living in this constant fear means that more often than not, we are stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed. This can have a drastic impact personally and socially.


Thesis Research

The User

Age 25-64 Equal Male/Female Lives with 1 or 2 more people Takes public transportation Works in an office Eats lunch at desk Puts in 50 hour weeks Most likely White or Equal chance of latino, black, or asian Wasn’t raised in the city Doesn’t practice a religion Always trying to loose weight Loves pizza, eats kale Wishes for more time Misses nature Yasir Alsaedi

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Personal Effect

Physical Warnings 6, 7 Headaches Muscle tension Restlessness Fatigue Problems sleeping Chest pain Stomach problems Exercising less often Drug or alcohol abuse Tobacco use Mental Warnings Loss of interest in work Trouble concentrating Anxiety Irritability Depression Social withdrawal Loss of sex drive Feeling overwhelmed Overeating or undereating Angry outbursts

Related Illnesses Breaks down the immune system Increases existing illness High blood pressure Arrhythmia Blood Clots Atherosclerosis Coronary Artery Disease Heart Attack Heart Failure Neck, shoulder, back pain Worsens Rheumatoid Arthritis Stomach Ulcers Gastrointestinal Reflux Irritable Bowel Syndrome Lower Fertility Erectile Dysfunction Pregnancy Issues Menstrual Pain Increases Asthma Worsens COPD Acne Intensifies Psoriasis The list goes on.


Thesis Research

Social Effect

The issue is that we are human which means that we have biological reactions and emotional reactions. Currently a majority of us do not understand those reactions or why they happen, which leads to a loss of control over both mind and body. We are unconsciously reacting to actions without ever stopping to think how or why they are reacting. Most humans find it hard to find peace in their day to day lives. We are controlled by unconscious emotions that are usually negative reactions to uncontrollable events. If we are reacting to uncontrollable events with unconscious emotions then, not only are we consumed by the emotions, we are also confused and frustrated because we feel a loss of control over ourselves and our thoughts. Thus leading to a cycle of fear and frustration. On top of personally suffering from our unconscious, we then inflict this confusion and frustration on to every person they come in contact with on a day to day basis. Thus effecting everyones chance for peace. For example: If every morning you have to wake up early, before you are well rested, to prepare to go to a job where you work overtime and yet you still can’t pay the bills, then you are naturally going to be angry because you are psychologically and physically exhausted. Now as you go throughout your day you show that anger to everyone you come in contact with. This includes your spouse, your children, your colleges, the sales clerk, your boss, your employees, etc. Everyone of those people will now passively have your anger inflicted on them, leading them to feel angry too. They will then pass that anger on to the next person they come in contact with and so on. The same way a virus is spread.

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Fear (noun)8 1. Distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, real or imagined 2. Specific instance for extreme feeling 3. Concern or anxiety 4. Extreme awe or power 5. Feeling of dread or apprehension 6. Anticipation of possibility


Thesis Research

Fear

Fear is the main behavior concern that I will focus on for this project because it I have found it to be strongest controlling emotion. If fear is creating a mental opposition, by acknowledging our fears we become conscious of them. Through this we can begin to understand and control our mental pain. This is important for numerous reason but mostly because it allows us to heal the damage they have created which eliminates our chances of suffering from fear in the future. In our Genetic makeup fear has helped us survive. It has helped up become powerful in moments of threat. It has helped us think and react faster than we knew we could. However as we began to socially evolve our brains did not adapt to the changes we have created in our environment. What used to be a physical protector has now become a mental opposition. 9 If we do not become aware of our fears we risk living a life succumb to pain and suffering. We will loose control over our mental and physical health, resulting in similar issues related to excessive stress. By locating the cause of fear through self awareness, we will learn how still the emotion. 10,11

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Emotional Balance

Once the users are aware of their subconscious thoughts and emotions. They will then begin the journey to finding a lifelong emotional balance. Emotional balance is the ability of the mind and body to maintain equilibrium and flexibility in the face of challenge and change. Emotional balance promotes physical health, and is a prerequisite for personal wellbeing and growth.12 Our brains are genetically programed to always be aware of anything that causes us pain. This pain is then subconsciously stored and our brain remind us to always avoid (fear) that thing. This really benefited us we were hunters and gatherers, however now in a modern world it only harms us. Through self awareness we can begin to allow this unrealistic fear to pass through us and at the same time we will also let the more positive and fulfilling feelings pass through as well. If we do not allow these emotion to consciously pass through us, then eventually the fear, stress and frustration will build up to the point of causing a breakdown. By being aware of our constant emotional changes we can continuously practice balancing it. If we are unaware then the scale will always be uneven.


Thesis Research

Meditation

Users will be become aware through sitting in observation of ones owns thoughts in a quiet, peaceful environment. Along with helping users reach enlightenment, meditation will also help lower the stress levels, find clarity in everyday task, lessen physical pain, lower blood pressure, improve immune system, and so on. 13 Ultimately mediation will lead to a more mindful society. Not only will meditation help the users become more aware of negative emotions like fear, it will also help them discover and understand feeling of love and happiness. If it is possible to empower people with type of self healing and awareness then the world will become a completely understanding place. In this facility, meditation will go hand in hand with guided help and self exploration. It will be the main tool for teaching the users a solution that they can continue to live their lives using. The goal is not to have the user always return, but to give them the tools they need to succeed on their own. Meditation will be one of those tools.

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Good mental health is the ability to clearly understand your thoughts and calmly manage your emotions.


Thesis Research

Conclusion

This is not an easy problem to try and solve since the root is truly that we are all simply human. We have automatic responses to situations that we do not have conscious control over. If we could have conscious understanding of these responses then we can be free from their control over us. However, along with it not being socially acceptable to take time to rest, we are unaware that we are the solution to our own problem. By taking time to observe and understand our thoughts and emotions we become aware of ourselves.14 Through self awareness we can find enlightenment. If we are all enlightened then we can be free from the suffering we cause ourselves, thus leading us to live a healthy and fulfilled life.

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SILENCE By Thomas Hood

There is a silence where hath been no sound, There is a silence where no sound may be, In the cold grave—under the deep deep sea, Or in the wide desert where no life is found, Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound; No voice is hush’d—no life treads silently, But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free, That never spoke, over the idle ground: But in green ruins, in the desolate walls Of antique palaces, where Man hath been, Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls, And owls, that flit continually between, Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan, There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.


Thesis Research

Laurin Meredith

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Luc Braquet


Thesis Research

Design

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moonandtrees.tumblr.com


Thesis Research

Concept

The design concept for this facility will be to incorporate the old and new ways that people normally find enlightenment. In history this was usually done surrounded by nature. Even today there are still people to live a nomad lifestyle in hopes to completely understand enlightenment. The new way, is through guided help. This includes anything from yoga to an actual therapist. For my design I will combine these two solution, allowing the user to decided their own way. This will also be an attempts to rid stereotypes and feeling of impossibleness. The next layer of the design concept will be to observe the earth and use the bare elements found in it to recreate a naturally relaxing environment. The main elements I will use are land, water, air, and fire (sun and stars). In this process I will observe the local environment and design a facility that reflect the minimal identification of these elements. The final layer will the process in which the users experience the space. This process will reflect the psychological process that humans go through when they choose to make a change. These steps will be narrowed down to Contemplation, Preparation and Action. In order to create a unified concept, I will integrate both ways of enlightenment and the natural elements in each step of change. The facility will fade from natural to manmade in the same way the steps move from contemplation to action.

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40°43’46.3”N 74°00’19.8”W


Thesis Research

Location

It is important that the location of this building in an area that can benefit most from it’s needs. Finding a location that has high level of stress and tension will help for the testing the prototype of this building. However it is important to note that any where in the world that has human inhabitance can benefit from this type of facility. Deciding to located in a high tension location will only increase the number of people that can possible benefit. For the over all inhabitance of this space, I will speak to a global scale. As the project develops I will then focus on the particular area of Manhattan that the site is located. Global Right now the world as whole is facing a number of issues that will personally affect this project. As the Co2 emissions have reduced our worlds protective shell and the ice caps have begun to melt, we will be facing longer hotter summers and harsher colder winters, both of which are already a local issue. 15 This also means that the water levels will continue to rise and along with the need for clean potable water. It will be extremely important these four main points are very carefully considered in throughout the design process. We are also facing many social issues that will directly affect this project since it located in a high tourist area. Currently there are many forms of racism, hatred and fear that control much of how we live our daily lives. In order for this project to be successful it will be extremely important that these social barriers are broken down and that acceptance of all is welcome.

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North East America The North East is known for its diverse climate and beautiful seasons. It is also known for its abundance of seafood and rich soil. It is a temperate climate but still suffers from harsh nor’estern storms in the winter and high humid heat in the summers. There is average rainfall in this area during a majority of the, which usually translates to average snowfall in the winter with some areas of exception in the higher altitudes. The North East is also subject to hurricanes during the fall, however they are usually less intense once reaching the northern coast.16 The North East is a combination between highlands and coastal plain. New York City and surrounding area is a clear combination of the two geographic landscapes. For this particular location, the site itself is considered a coastal area. It is subject to flooding and harsh winds coming across from the sea. A majority of this land used to be forest followed by a percentage of farms and pastures. 17 This has rapidly changed the urban population has developed. When it comes to culture and views, America is the most diverse of all. However it is known that the North East is more liberal as whole in comparison to the south or Midwest. There is also a rich amount of history in this area in comparison to the rest of the US. This combination seems to form a cultured and highly educated society.18 All of these aspects have a very important part of the overall design of this facility. It will be extremely important to renovate the structure to be prepared for the coming changes in climate, ultimately preventing natural catastrophe while also reducing the future climate change. The natural geography is important to consider since this site will incorporate a park.


Thesis Research

Manhattan Founded in the 1680’s, Manhattan is known for being the cultural and financial capital of the world. 19 Similar to the entire North East, it holds true to having a rich past of natives and early settlers. With development starting the lower part of the island and making its way north over time, Manhattan has become one of the most densely packed cities in the world as well as one of the most expensive. 20 Manhattan rest comfortably on top of a hefty bedrock of mica schist and is surround by bodies of water, even though the Harlem river is only a small divide. This foundation is very good for having a stable ground for heavy construction and the coastal location make for a great place to use geothermal energy. Manhattan is also known as being one of the more sustainable cities mainly because of it’s lack of automobile use, however it still faces its own issues in regards to construction effecting climate change and regulating a healthy and safe environment for it’s people. Autumns are usually very comfortable, but unpredictable, and winter are never too harsh, however it common to go around three weeks with temperatures below 10°F. 21 Spring often brings a lot of rain, followed by a lot of heat and humidity in the Summer months. Similar to winter, there is often a three week period of temperatures over 90°F. Both winter and summer are becoming more extreme as the climate continues to change. Even though much of the natural landscape and vegetation has been eliminated by man made structures, this facility will bring back of much of it as possible. It will also use as many natural resources as possible to be self sustaining. The renovation will also be designed around the natural and artificial wind flows in this particular area as well as the natural light.

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Site

The site need to be a commercial space. This project can be classified as A-1, A-3 and A-5 Assembly as well as Business. It is important that the site has ample access to natural light and outdoor space and can be easily accessible from most subways. It should be noted that the location should be central for the high work areas of Manhattan and should visible by passersby. Also having a low surrounding building will help promote a human scale connection that is needed for the design.

Current Lot Zoning: Borough: Manhattan Block: 582 Lot: 50 Zoning: C2-6,R6 Zoning Map: 12a Historical Zoning Maps: 12a


Thesis Research

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Background

The building, originally Carmine Street Bath House, opened in it’s doors in 1908 as one of many bathhouse ordered to be constructed for public health in large cities. 22 The building was built by Renwick, Aspinwall and Tucker and was run by three separate city organizations. The major, formally known as the Manhattan Borough President, ran the showers, Recreation Center was in charge of the gymnasium, and the Board of Education was responsible for the third floor. What originally began as a cleansing centers in the late 1800’s, soon lost it’s value after public plumbing was installed in a majority of the homes.23 Thus creating the transition from Bath House to Recreation Center with a Public Pool. The New York Recreation Department plans on keeping this up and running for future generations to experience.

“...it will symbolize to future generations how one man’s work can have a lasting and positive effect on his community.” (NYCparks)


Thesis Research

Description

The building is 5 stories including a mezzanine and basement. It is located on a busy street corner in the West Village, 16’ above sea level. It is adjacent to an outdoor pool that goes 10’ underground. On the remaining block is a public park that reaches a height of 26’. There is one main entrance now but there have been multiple entrances in the past. There are also two opening inside the building that rise from the second floor to the forth floor. The building is framed in a dark red brick on a stone structure. The main level has large arched windows with detailed features. There have been multiple layers of renovations to the building, particularly the east facade, that have altered the original design, but kept the integrity of the original architecture.

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Places

Nearby Public Library PS 721 USPS SquareSpace Venmo Headquarters Radio Stations A lot of Restaurants US Verterns Affairs Department NY Passport Agency NYC District Council Pier 40 Soho Washington Square NYU Public Transportation 1 Houston St M20 M21 A C E B D F M West 4th Path Christopher Street swiftbeat.tumblr.com


Thesis Research

People

Religions24 36% Catholics 20.5% Jewish 9.1% Muslims 2.4% Atheism Languages25 60% English only 23% Spanish 5% Chinese 2% French <0% Japanese Russian Korean German Italian Hebrew African Languages

m.flickr.com

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Local Environment

Seasons26 Winters (December to March) Temp: 10°F - 40°F Spring (March to June) Temp: 15° F - 80°F Summer (June to September) Temp: 70°F - 100°F Autumn (September to December) Temp: 80°F - 40°F Trees 27 Kwanzan Flowering Cherry American Elm Northern Red Oak European Linden Black Walnut Green Ash Black Oak Scotch Pine European Larch English Elm American Beech Honey Locust Honey Locust Yoshino Cherry

Wildlife28 Coyotes Eastern Grey Squirrels Bats Striped skunk Opossum Red fox White-Tailed Deer American Kestrel Bird Peregrine Falcon Red-tailed Hawk Eastern Screech Owl


Thesis Research

234 days of Sunshine29

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Design Process

In my design process I have chosen to construct my facility around the stages of change. My project is based on helping people become aware. I expect them to become aware of themselves and other by gaining enlightenment about the world around them. To me, this process of enlightenment will be similar to the process of change since the users are changing the way they see and interact with daily life. I will use the stages of change to design three main areas that consist of Contemplation, Preparation, and Action. Pre-contemplation will be anyone that is on the outside of the facility and maintenance will repeating the three main steps. If someone makes it through steps 1-5 then the user will always know the solution and will have it with them for the rest of there lives, it is only a choice whether they want to use what they know or not.


Thesis Research

The stages of change are:30 1. Precontemplation - lack of awareness that life can be improved by a change in behavior. 2. Contemplation - recognition of the problem, initial consideration of behavior change, and information gathering about possible solutions and actions. 3. Preparation - introspection about the decision, reaffirmation of the need and desire to change behavior, and completion of final pre-action steps. 4. Action - implementation of the practices needed for successful behavior change. (e.g. exercise class attendance) 5. Maintenance - consolidation of the behaviors initiated during the action stage. 6. Termination - former problem behaviors are no longer perceived as desirable. (e.g. skipping a run results in frustration rather than pleasure)

Contemplation Preparation Action

Pre-Contemplation

Maintenance

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Activity Areas

Contemplation Contemplation will be a private public park for people who are passing by. This area should explore ways of having varied public seating and include water elements, soil, and trees. Natural wind currents and heating should be incorporated based on the location. This area should evoke a meditative space. Preparation Preparation is the area for advisement. It will be similar to a small museum. This space will offer areas to sit alone, talk with an advisor, or simply be a place to take a break. The design should encourage whispering and lack of cell phone use. The entrance to this space should remain seperate and isolated for sound purposes. Action Action is designated rooms for yoga and meditation based on the elements, when not in a class they are open to all. This section of the facitlity will have a seperate entrance with a member lounge, locker rooms and healing baths. These sections will vary based on the location of the facility and local resources avialable to it. For example the facility in NYC should be built in rising levels similar to its surroundings. The lower level will have water element that will be combination of harvested rainwater and geothermal water. The main floor will have elements that incorporate natural stone found in the area and healing rocks. The second level will have elements of air. This can be either represented as a white room or actually incorporate trees and vegetation that release oxygen. The fourth floor or space should be the connection to fire or the sun. Again, depending on the location of the facility the local needs and resources may vary.


Thesis Research

Laurin Meredith

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Contemplation

Purpose: A public plaza that will interest New Yorkers that pass by. It will be a place to rest in midst of chaos. The goal of this space is to interest them into coming inside and learning more about meditation. Activities: Resting // Observing // Thinking // Reading // Talking // Taking a Break // Eating Lunch // Working // Drawing // Listening // Breathing Adjacencies: The Street // Back Entrance Occupancy: 200 People Area: 4,000 SqFt Seating - 1,500 sqft Water - 500 sqft Park - 2,000 sqft Classification: A-5 OLF: 300 People in seating area Needs: Outdoor cushions and mats // Water Wall Concerns: Accessible // Inviting // Street noise reduction // Sunlight in winter // Shade in Summer // Room for comfort // Room for yoga // Proper trash receptacles // Sight to back entrance // Security


Thesis Research

Vittorio Ciccarelli

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Preparation

Purpose: Main indoor space for conditioned public thought and advice services. This area will act as guidance center and museum like space where users can wonder on their own or schedule a time to meet with an advisor who will walk with them through the space. In the space users will find quiet areas to rest and reflect, offering quiet area for thought. Activities: Resting // Contemplating // Observing // Thinking // Reading // Talking // Taking a Break // Drawing // Listening // Breathing // Learning // Understanding // Exploring Adjacencies: Lobby // Bookstore // Lockers // Cellphone Storage // Advsory Office // Staff Space // Security // Restrooms Area: Lower Level -6,000 Ground Floor - 9,000 Second Floor- 3,000 Third Floor - 2,000 Classification: A-3 OLF: 1,200 People Concerns: Accessible // Inviting // Street noise reduction // Sunlight in winter // Shade in Summer // Room for comfort // Room for yoga // Proper trash receptacles // Sight to back entrance // Security


Thesis Research

Alyssa Monks

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Land 75 people max. 5,000 SqFt

This space that will reflect the natural elements of land. It is intended to be a transition space from the outdoor environment into the more conditioned action area. It will house areas for individual sitting and reflecting. There will be personnel walking around to advise anyone who many guidance. It is important that this area directly reflect the nature that exist outside and that the seat should mimic the same thing you would find in nature. Activities will include sitting alone and observing self; listening to meditation app; talking with an advisor; exploring the grounds; passing through from the main street to the outdoor area; eating lunch; sketching; writing; waiting for a class or appointment. This area should be exposed to the natural elements a majority of the year. It is important that the temperate is not highly regulated and that the interior temperature is similar to the outside. Geothermal water system should help keep the temperate mediated throughout the year. There should be architectural systems that can adjust during the high heat and deep winter months. Other elements that should be considered are at least 70% natural lighting; sustainable materials; minimum signage; no additional technology; lockers for personal belongings. Capacity will be controlled by the lack of seating and comfort.


Thesis Research

Siegrid Cain Photography

Unknown

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Water 50 people max. 5,000 SqFt

This space that will reflect the natural elements of water found in nature. This will on the lower level with direct connection to land. This space will be used for personal meditation as well as advisor meetings. Users will come here to be in a darker more cave like environment that will offer both the benefit of natural ions from water as well as the peaceful sound and sight of water. Activities will include sitting alone and observing self; listening to meditation app; talking with an advisor; exploring the grounds; eating lunch; sketching; writing; waiting for a class or appointment. There should be a direct connection with the land floor above as well as the outdoor area. The water system should flow continuously through them all. In this area there should be dimmed lighting and seating will consist of varied step seating that will mimic what you would find in a cave or near a water fall. Other elements that should be considered are at least 10% natural lighting; sustainable materials; minimum signage; no additional technology; lockers for personal belongings, speaker system for white noise. Capacity will be controlled by the lack of seating and comfort.


Thesis Research

Siegrid Cain Photography

Antonino Cardillo.

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Air 25 people max. 3,500 SqFt

This space that will reflect the natural elements of air. This space will be on the third floor and should look over to an atrium below. The users will feel as if they are in the sky. This area should remain white and have the ability to induce fog within in a confined area. Their will be an elevator to get to this space. This space will be used for personal meditation and pure curiosity. Users will come here to be in a bright, clean environment that will offer a quiet and peaceful place to escape. Activities will include sitting alone and observing self; meditation; listening to meditation app; exploring; thinking; sketching; writing; waiting for a class or appointment. This space should have a view of the land area below, but should have an obstructed view from any buildings outside. The use of natural and artificial light will be extremely important in this area to help show any water that will be in the air to create a sense of privacy for the users. It should remain bright but also adjust with the natural light outside. There will not be any defined seating in this area, only cushions to move where space is available. Other elements that should be considered are sustainable materials; minimum signage; no additional technology; lockers for personal belongings will be outside, sound absorbing materials on walls and ceiling, speaker system for white noise. Capacity will be controlled by the lack of seating and comfort.


Thesis Research

Kader Gris

Ky Krebs

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Fire 25 people max. 2,500 SqFt

This space that will reflect the natural elements of fire and sun. This will on the top floor with a direct connection to sun. There should be strategic openings in the ceiling to allow for sharp direct light. There should also be an incorporation to fire that will accessible during the winter months. The hot air produced should be reused in though out the building. This room will remain hot through our the year, pushing the contact with heat and how the harsh condition can challenge the users in a meditative state. Activities will include sitting alone and observing self; meditation; listening to meditation app; exploring; thinking; sketching; writing; waiting for a class or appointment. There should be a direct connection with the roof to allow for ventilation. Users will access this space with a regulated key card they can pick up at the lobby. In this area there should be dimmed lighting and seating will consist of varied wood stools. It is important that there is not any metal or plastic in this space. Other elements that should be considered are sustainable materials; minimum signage; no additional technology; lockers for personal belongings will be outside, breathable materials on walls and ceiling, speaker system for white noise.


Thesis Research

Unknown

Ssamuelt Ludwig

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Action

Purpose: Main indoor space for conditioned public thought and advice services. This area will act as guidance center and museum like space where users can wonder on their own or schedule a time to meet with an advisor who will walk with them through the space. In the space users will find quiet areas to rest and reflect, offering quiet area for thought. Activities: Resting // Contemplating // Observing // Thinking // Reading // Talking // Taking a Break // Drawing // Listening // Breathing // Learning // Understanding // Exploring Adjacencies: Lobby // Bookstore // Lockers // Cellphone Storage // Advsory Office // Staff Space // Security // Restrooms Area: Lower Level -6,000 Ground Floor - 9,000 Second Floor- 3,000 Third Floor - 2,000 Classification: A-3 OLF: 1,200 People Concerns: Accessible // Inviting // Street noise reduction // Sunlight in winter // Shade in Summer // Room for comfort // Room for yoga // Proper trash receptacles // Sight to back entrance // Security


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theshinysquirrel.tumblr.com

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Site Diagram


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Site Elevation

69


Existing Facade


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Existing Elevation

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Existing Lower Level


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Existing Main Floor

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Blocking Diagram

Third

Second

Lower


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Design Considerations

Active Design: This space should encourage a connection with both mind and body for the users. It is important that stairs are easily accessible and attractive to use. Also having indirection circulation through the open areas will encourage walking. Art Work: There should not be any artwork in this building because the space itself should act as a work of art. The only space that can house art will the flexible lecture hall that can also act a exhibition space. Branding: It is important that any branding is very discrete. It should correspond with the over look and feel of the space and be directed for the same user. All graphics should be cohesive with the overall design. Building Finishes: Finishes should reflect concept in the color scheme and contain only natural material. No chemically manufactured materials should be used. Cleanliness and sanitation will be a top priority for all material used. Accessibility: All ADA requirements should be followed but nothing more. It is important that everyone can use this space but the design integrity should not be compromised. Restrooms: Restrooms will be on every floor. There will one ADA and the other will be private rooms open to all. This will also be reflected in the locker rooms. There will be a private area for changing and showering but a main communal area for all. Flexibility: Since many of the room will be designed as open room intended for floor seating, the spaces will remain flexible and open to change. This underlying flexibility is help also because the space may also be used by outside organization for events.


Thesis Research

Flooring: The floors will transition the same way as the concept, from nature to man-made. in preparation there should be a mixture of dirt and wood paths for the users to walk on. As you go below there will be stone like you would find underground and then in the conditioned space the materials should be as sustainable as possible. Furniture: Furniture should be minimal and only places when 100% necessary. Designing a space for seating without needing furniture is ideal. All furniture finishes should reflect the concept and all be natural materials. Healthiness and brand values of the manufacture should persuade decisions. Audio/Visual: The required spaces should be equip with simple audio and visual. This should be accessible by using a phone or easily plugging in a computer. There will projects installed on a particular walls, but hand-held projectors should so be used. Openness and Sight Lines: It is important that there is a visual connection between each area and that the continuation of the process flows through those opening and sight lines. It is also important to use the sight lines as highlight details with sun exposure. Safety and Security: There will security cameras hidden throughout the facility as well as security guards on stand. Since there is such openness and freedom in this space it is extremely important that the security is high. At the same time it is very important that security remain very discrete. Water: Bathrooms and shower should be equip with the most up to date sustainable products. There should also be a gray water system installed and rainwater collection on the roof to be used for the featured water elements. The geothermal water should also be used for these features. It is important that appropriate ventilation will also be installed to control the humidity in the air caused by the highlighted features. Energy: This building should strive to reach a zero energy waste. This can be achieved with solar energy, green roof to help with cooling, a breathable exterior where possible, opening for natural air circulation, geothermal heating and cooling. AC will be installed but only for extreme days, it should used less than a month out of the year.

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Thesis Research

For both heating and cooling, orientation and natural sun should be used as much as possible. In New York, there are both extreme heat and harsh cold winds. It is important to note that a majority of the heat comes from poor ventilation and the harsh cold is increased in the interiors through spillage in exterior openings. The heat can be prevent with open ventilation diagonally across and up, which will require openings throughout the space. The heat can also be controlled through breakable skin on the building. For keeping the building warm, replacing the fenestration and having decompression zones in the entryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s will prevent leakage. Recycling: There should be appropriate receptacles for allowing users to recycle as well as compost. Plastic should be discouraged and there should be purified water for refilling bottles. Acoustics: Using natural soft materials as much as possible will very helpful with reducing interior acoustics. New windows will be installed for proper sealing for both sound and energy loss. White noise will play on speakers through out the building, but the natural sounds from the water should reverberate throughout the building. Natural Lighting: The use of sunlight is very important in this space for both aesthetic and for vegetation. Light is a major part of spirituality and meditation and should be carefully considered in both exterior and interior design. Allowing light to be part of the experience as well as features throughout each area will add a level of interest and calm in the subconscious of the users. The interior rooms should be designed using the natural orientation of sunset and sunrise, creating â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;magicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; moments. Orientation should also direct where the most natural light should come from. North sides are best for indirect in working areas and south will allow for features that will change over the day. In areas where light will increase the heat index inside, there should be structural materials to prevent absorption and sustainable glass that limits the amount of heat and glare. Artificial Lighting: Any artificial light should have a color rendering index between 5000-6000. All lighting should be the most sustainable solution, which is currently LED. Dim able lighting should be strategically placed for mood enhancers. Also Phillips or Sony LED color changing lights should be used to also enhance particular environments.

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Environment

This space should mimic the natural landscape. As the design transitions deeper into the space it should become a more man made environment. Every space should be minimized to the most extreme to encourage stillness and peacefulness in the mind.


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Look and Feel

Vincent Leroux

Unknown

81


elsa-may.tumblr.com


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Appendix

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Case Study 1

Mahayana Temple Buddhist Association 133 Canal St # 1, New York, NY 10002


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Case Study 2

MNDFL Meditation 10 E 8th St, New York, NY 10003

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Thesis Program - Meditation Park  
Thesis Program - Meditation Park  
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