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Rice University - Meditation Garden



Rice University Meditation Garden


rice university


2017 - ongoing


The Rice University meditation courtyard, located at the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, was a programmed element in the initial designs, but never fully realized. The space remained a vacant, unused lawn for many years. Having worked with terralab on several previous projects around campus, the University enlisted our team to refresh the original vision and develop a meditation and passive relaxation space that complimented their facility.


Surrounded by large buildings and structures, the design emphasizes a reduction in scale, while promoting circulation through a portion of the space rather than around it. The space is divided into two smaller spaces, creating varied degrees of privacy and intended use. A curvilinear deck with a variety of formal seating options, located near the main entry to facility, projects through the site and promotes a more public, social environment. A separate, semi-private section of lawn serves as a secondary space for activities such as yoga or quiet contemplation. The extensive use of planting buffers the spaces from the surrounding buildings and aids in the reduction of scale.