Contemporary Monastery

  • Luke D. Erickson, M.Arch. 2016
  • Hometown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Class ARCH 4102/5116 Design VI Option Studio (spring 2015)
  • Instructor Francisco Mangado
    Suzanne Lettieri

How do you design a contemporary monastery? This question, proposed to the studio, provided the directive for Erickson's examination of traditional monasteries and their programmatic reasoning. His design reevaluates the role of the cloister in a new monastery. Classically, the cloister provides primary circulation to all other programs; however, its rectilinear form restricts the potential of such an important daily path. In order to exhibit the almost continuous movement of the monks, Erickson looked to Architecture Principe's (Claude Parent and Paul Virilio) work with fracturing and the architect/monk Hans Van der Laan's research on proportioning and repetition. By fracturing the traditional cloister/program relationship, a new labyrinthine cloister emerges in which every space can be reached by several means.