Josefa meditation space

In its form, the place of meditation is a square space in plan and almost cubic in volume. The space is located near the entrance to the Josefa House... 

This room has two windows facing south-west that open onto the street, which provides abundant light from early afternoon. Its narthex has one window on the same facade. The panes are transparent.

The room is separated from the cultural space of the Josefa House by a corridor, pierced in both directions by vertical openings in opaline glazing.

The walls and ceiling of this cubic room, painted in white, and its plain light grey floor give this room a stripped-down, Zen, serene character.

The street windows have kept their original shape. The holes opening onto the interior corridor were composed according to a regulating layout inspired by the golden rectangle. This geometric structure is intended to be hardly perceived by the meditator or the passer-by. It is only there to create harmony and balance between full and empty.

The golden section, the golden ratio. 1. At the beginning, we have a simple square. 2. From the middle of one of the sides of the square, an arc. The shape resulting from this operation is a golden rectangle. 3. The small rectangle is also a golden rectangle. 4. If we add a square to the golden rectangle, we get a new golden rectangle and so on, ad infinitum.

If we connect all the arcs of the successive squares, we get what is called the spiral of the golden ratio, which is omnipresent in nature. In mathematics, 1.6180339887... The golden ratio, also called φ or divine proportion, is a number called "irrational", that is to say that it has an infinite sequence of decimals without repetition of a periodic sequence, just like the number π.

Beyond the mystery it arouses, this proportion symbolizes the growth, harmony, beauty of all creation.

This space is intended to be a sounding board for the souls of those who choose to meditate there. Its simple geometrical shape and its absence of decoration allow those who pray to meditate with ease.

Lighting work in the meditation space. The two windows of this place and that of the narthex provide appreciable natural light, but the transparency of the windows presents two challenges. The privacy necessary for the practice of prayer or meditation is disturbed by the views that passers-by or occupants of neighbouring buildings may have. On the other hand, the mind of the meditator could be distracted, or even disturbed, by outside movements.

The proposed curtaining of the three windows aims to preserve the privacy of people who meditate while allowing light to penetrate, in order to cut the view outside while preserving the bare and minimalist nature of the place.

Translucent polyester strips are hung inside the window openings. This material is printed and also constitutes an adequate support for painting, pastel, ink... The windows are therefore covered with polyester veils that are treated according to the principle of a mixed technique combining printing and colour treatment emphasizing the layout.

In a series of sketches and recent works that the artist Pierre Sohie had previously produced, the theme of the square and the development of a frame based on the geometry of the square are omnipresent.

This theme, perfectly in harmony with the original form of the meditation space and with the geometric composition which structured its transformation, constitutes the framework for the treatment of the window veils. The geometric design is enhanced by applied touches of colour. However, the desire is to keep the whole as sober as possible to preserve the neutrality of the patterns and the serenity of the place.

Work on the corridor wall and its glass openings. As explained above, the wall was pierced with openings in a composition based on the golden rectangle. Without the keys for interpreting this composition, it is difficult for the public to perceive it. Nevertheless, the proportions between full and empty are harmonious. The layout of this wall aimed to treat the solid parts of the wall and to leave the panes, currently already translucent, as they are. The solid parts are painted in shades barely different from each other and following the regulating line. Each rectangle or square has a slightly different shade so that the wall reveals the regulating outline but in an extremely discreet way. The colours are of the same range as that of the veils of the front windows. On the side of the corridor, on the other hand, lines painted on the wall repeat the regulatory layout. The code is somewhat hidden from the person busy meditating but can be seen when passing through the hallway. The treatment of the lines is dimmed, irregular and of a shade comparable to that of the lines of the window veils.

A maze on the floor. The symbolism of the labyrinth, present in many sacred places, has its place in the meditation space. On the other hand, the small size of this room does not allow you to walk through the labyrinth. The journey to the centre of this labyrinth is only possible for your eyes. Although the golden ratio spiral is not a labyrinth as such, the idea of ​​progression, of a journey to the origin of the Whole is found there. The spiral is painted on the floor and marks the centre of the room. Also based on the golden ratio and the square, it is the link between the window veils and the corridor wall. Two treatments for this spiral have been proposed. One is to make the line of the spiral denser in the centre and fading outwards, until it disappears. The other is to paint the surface mass between the loops of the spiral, this mass fading as it moves away from the centre.

Lighting. The ceiling of the meditation space is lined with a suspended piece made up of acoustic panels.

This lining does not touch the walls and forms a groove supplied with electric current where a continuous and indirect light source is placed. The light thus diffused around the perimeter of the ceiling licks the walls, providing discreet ambient lighting. The light source is provided by a continuous strip of LEDs invisible from the ground.

Another power source ends at the centre of the ceiling in order to create a focal point on the centre of the room, above the spiral. The light there is much more intense and concentrated. The light source is provided there by a suspended ceiling light consisting of a globe portion diffusing the light more widely.

We are all welcome to meditate or enter into exile.

Last modified on Thursday, 17 September 2020 11:41
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