The Windhover Contemplative Center is conceived of as a unification of art, landscape and architecture to both replenish and invigorate the spirit. The sanctuary is located in the heart of the Stanford University campus adjacent to a natural oak grove.
Louvered skylights wash the monumental paintings in natural light. The remaining space is kept intentionally dark to focus the visitor’s attention on the naturally highlighted paintings and the landscape beyond. Thick rammed earth walls and wood surfaces further heighten the visitor’s sensory experience acoustically, tactilely, olfactorily, as well as visually. Water, in conjunction with landscape, is used throughout as an aid for contemplation; fountains within the main gallery and the courtyard provide ambient sound while a still reflecting pool to the south reflects the surrounding trees. Exterior contemplation spaces are integrated into the use of the center, allowing views to the natural surroundings as well as to the paintings within.