The Ozolini tea farm defines Latvian culture in the countryside; a place where tea making and meditation are a daily ritual. Arriving on the farm, travelers are welcomed by the aroma, sounds, and sight of life in the forest. Here, life is calm, collected and quiet. An ideal place for personal reflection and communal tea making.
A series of meditation cabins scatter the landscape. These temporary residences perform as architectural extensions of the tea crafting process and facilitate passive and/or active meditation. Passive meditation is defined by immobilization coupled with rhythmic breathing whereas active meditation is associated with mobilization and eco-fitness. The act of growing, gathering, withering and bruising of tea ingredients are all integrated into the architecture. A hanging garden, living/meditation spaces and an outhouse all define an intimate courtyard for active meditation. Each space is highly adaptable to suit its inhabitant in terms of spatial relationships and the ability to control light conditions. By introducing these adaptations, anyone can personalize their meditation experience in more ways than one.
DESIGN PARTNER: Benjamin Dossett
The act of processing tea in the Ozolini tradition is rooted in the compatibility between human and tea plants. Each traveler chooses a plant most suitable to his/her senses. The traveler is then tasked with navigating to their cabin by following a trail of wayfinding devices using their chosen plant. These wayfinding devices serve a double purpose: define the path to a specific cabin and activate the senses. Approaching a wayfinding device, the traveler matches the aroma, appearance, and feel of their plant to that of the tea plant inside the wayfinding device. If the tea plants are similar, the traveler will know he/she is going the right direction. This method of navigation gives hierarchy to multiple senses in a way that sight alone cannot achieve. Upon arriving at the cabin, the traveler enters the courtyard and discovers a hanging garden blooming with the aroma of their chosen tea plant.
The meditation cabins seek not to define one set means of meditation; instead, the cabin provides a series of interactive, spatial operations that allow the traveler control of both active and passive meditation spaces. A rotating light device allows the traveler to control the hue of a space befitting to his/her preferred means of meditation. Similarly, three distinct slide operations modify the amount of light in the space while simultanously altering the relationship between interior and exterior spaces.
In conjunction with active work-meditation, the cabin is also equipped with a secluded, passive mediation space. The earth tone of the woven walls and complimentary, burgundy structure stimulate imagination, spirituality and memory. The space is reminiscent of a woven basket punctuated by apertures on all four walls. The traveler has the ability to alter these apertures through means of slide operations. A sky door above slides along a semi circular track, washing the space in sunlight and reveals a golden light well. A circular window opens to receive the sounds, smells and sights of the forest wildlife.
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