Design for a Contemporary Monastery

Design of a rural monastery for a community of 25

Designed to be home to 25 this design was based on the best of traditional Cistercian architecture derived from extensive research in French and Spanish monasteries by Ethan Anthony. The primary sources were the "Three Sisters" Cisctercian Monasteries in Provence, Senanque, designed by Bernard personally, Thoronet and Silvacane based in turn on the work at Senanque. Anthony visited all three and photo-documented them, taking over 3000 photographs to serve as a model for a contemporary design.

While the basis of design was the traditional forms of Cisterican architecture also incorporating many significant sustainable architecture features including a simple to operate, state of the art utilities system utilizing solar hot water, photo-voltaic panels and a field of geo-thermal wells to provide heating and cooling with minimal reliance on outside energy.

Design is modular to allow flexible phased construction as fund permitted but through innovative forms would appear organic and accretive on completion avoiding the modern machine-like anti-human look of modern utilitarian architecture.

Utilizing traditional-appearing forms is made possible by innovative use of materials and technology to produce the look and feel of medieval design with hi-tech materials and methods.