I met with IONS-Earthrise, a northern California retreat center and was asked to develop concepts for their scientific research building, the Discovery & Exploration Center. A later meeting with their Architect of Record invited me to develop a concept for the overall Master plan.
Matt Bell, artist and friend, created these key frame vignettes capturing the story I wrote and of an early design of the new building for the campus.
The story involves a young woman who comes to IONS-Earthrise for a retreat after having a horrific accident take away her partner. Upon completion of the retreat, she is advised to goto the new building in order to scan her brainwaves to record the changes, if any.
The building I designed, then acts as an assistant in the healing process, and thus becomes a tool or method to allow for healing and transformation to occur. The building is composed of two distinct elements.
element 1) The main building serves as a means to blend in with the hillside and the context buildings while guiding the eye toward Guardian Rock, a beautiful natural fixture upon the neighboring landscape.
element 2) The secondary building(s) were designed according to the Esoteric tradition of the Tarot de Marseille using the 22 Major Arcana or face-cards of the tarot tradition. 22 seperate building were designed, along with sketches, writings and physical models. Each building offers a physical, tangible manifestation of each Major Arcana, thus creating a physical embodiment of the archetypes to be experienced physically.
It is important to note why I make the distinction between the two buildings as element 1 and element 2.
IONS-Earthrise is a center where "hardcore" scientific research is happening, there are seasoned PhD's conducting research here and submitting their work to peer-reviewed journals. At the same time there is also a massive spiritual intention behind the land and the inclusion of various modalities of spiritual practice and retreat.
Using these two aspects of the center, the first building harkens to the scientific, the quantifiable. And the second building to the Esoteric, the well-qualified and perhaps yet-to-be quantified.
The interstices between these two buildings then is a space of pure experimentation, a space to be directed by the occupants.
Project Type: Civic, Non-Profit
Role: Design Architect, Concept
Scope: Master Plan and New Discovery/ Exploration Center
Client: Institute of Noetic Sciences
Collaborator: Matt Bell
Project Budget: $20,000,000
Location: Marin, California, USA
Myth has been around for thousands of years. It allows for us as humans to dream, to make sense of our place in the universe and it offers us something larger than ourselves to share with our community.
IONS-Earthrise invited me to develop a concept for their redevelopment of their Northern California land. The institute, founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell, researches consciousness through their team of scientists and also hosts events and workshops.
On the heels of science director Dean Radin’s new book, Real Magic, I used an esoteric science, that of Tarot as a means to create 22 distinct buildings for the campus.
Rumored to have originated in the south of France in the Marseille region roughly 2,000 years ago, three religious sects being the Christians, Jews and Muslims were in close proximity.
War and tensions were apparent and a small group of individuals came together from each of these three religions to take the best that their beliefs had to offer and put them into a simple card game. This card game, the Tarot was then able to transmit the good aspects of religion, that of the spirit and of archetypal truths.
From here, the card game went through hundreds if not thousand of iterations before a chance encounter of artists Andre Breton and Alejandro Jodorowsky in a Parisian cafe. It was hear that Breton shared with Jodorowsky the Tarot di Marseilles as the most true-to-form deck of Tarot.
Jodorowsky then went on to rebuild the deck card by card, painstakingly repairing each image to it’s original state. It is from here that Alejandro Jodorowsky then created an updated deck for the Tarot di Marseilles with it’s original coloration (prior to the limited printing press of the 19th century).
Project Type: Residential, New Construction
Role: Design Architect
Scope: 7,000 sq. ft. new construction
Collaborator: Santos & Urrutia Structural Engineers
Project Budget: $8,000,000
Location: San Franciso, California, USA
Porosity in architecture. This 7,000 sq. ft. home has a 4,000 sq. ft. underground level with apertures above that brings rays of sunlight to fill the space.
Originally a 1500 sq. ft. cottage, this home has had three stories added; one below and two above. Between levels, we begin to maximize sunlight and create an interior courtyard on the basement level.
The rear facade uses ETFE panels to make for a translucent skin that clads the rear glazing. Concrete from the interior garden on the basement level begins to move vertically up the building and horizontally across the floor plates.