*All posts are for educational and noncommercial purposes.


Materiality is the star at the new Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University, by Aidlin Darling Design and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture. Rammed earth, stained oak, glass, river rock, steel, and water combine to create a unified, textural experience that awakens the senses. This is the type of simplicity, detail and richness that I admire in interiors and landscapes. This makes me envious of the students and faculty at Stanford who get to use this space.

Rammed earth, steel, stone and water combine in the garden at Windhover Contemplative Center.

The rammed earth walls have a softness and repetition which is reflected in the water.

Water, stone, steel and rammed earth combine beautifully at Windhover Contemplative Center

The textural difference is rich: smooth walls, rough stone, cold steel, smooth stone.

Windhover Contemplative Center

Rammed earth, steel, stone and water combine in the garden at Windhover Contemplative Center.

Water detail at Windhover Contemplative Center

Windhover Contemplative Center 6

A certain rhythm is created in the repetition of vertical elements: screen, windows, perimeter fence.

Windover Contemplative Center, inside to outside

Hand-planed floors mimic the movement of the rammed earth walls.

Rammed earth, steel, and crushed gravel in the garden at Windhover Contemplative Center.

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
  dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
  Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,         
  As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
  Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion        
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
  No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
  Fall, gall themselves, and gash Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1918


David Bjørngaard, June 2015

All photographs by Matthew Millman.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required