A contemporary temple: designing a centre to promote mindfulness

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Agoushi, Hussein
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Humans have always tried to achieve deeper levels of meaning and find answers to the most fundamental question of “who we are.” Spirituality and religion are two of the most influential fields that provide an intellectual and social atmosphere for individuals to think, meditate and investigate the sacred and meaningful aspects of our existence. While doing this, as a side effect, the prevailing belief systems have divided people into groups and sects that often cannot necessarily coexist. This project aims to use interior design elements to build a centre that revives the classic sacred space concept, where contemporary individuals can experience mindful rituals and practice the spirituality rooted in our common understandings of human values. By promoting a sense of spatial coexistence, this project will try to alleviate tension caused by opposing worldviews. This centre will provide the necessary facilities for an interfaith community, including a meditation space, gallery, conference area, workshop area and a restaurant serving world cuisine. These spaces will help communities perform their cultural rituals and expose other individuals to our world's cultural diversity. The main research investigates the sacred architecture’s language and how we can apply it to contemporary architecture. This project attempts to revive the traditional relationship between space and individual understanding of spirituality. This will happen by analyzing the common interior design elements among meditative spaces which respond to our common desire for spirituality. The research explores the architectural qualities that were used throughout the world among various traditions that turn a space into a meditative and sacred space. The methodology used in this paper is mainly done by literature search from secondary resources including books and academic papers about sacred architecture, meditative spaces, spirituality and symbolism in sacred spaces. In addition, the study proposes architectural solutions to regenerate the architectural qualities that resemble the timeless classic worship spaces around the world that has spiritual and sacred qualities embedded within their design. This project attempts to create meditative and playful spaces that help visitors build a connection with their innermost selves and contemplate the common human values. The created spaces also include dialogue zones that will facilitate conversation between visitors and will help them enjoy coexistence and harmony.
Contemporary, Temple, Meditation, Interior Design, Architecture, Mindfulness, Spirituality, Religion