This recently completed residential care building for The New Camaldoli Hermitage (the coolest monks I have ever met) in Big Sur is a great example of the use of modest eco-materials used in elegant ways. The monks of The New Camalodoli Hermitage have made a life commitment to stay at the monastery and their cells and therefore require on-site health care as they age. Wanting the building to be simple and humble, yet functional, we chose materials that are earthy, long-lasting and clean. The exterior is cor-ten steel (that won’t have to be refinished or repainted or have maintenance) with elements of of ochre integral colored cement board (and since the color is integral it also will not require maintenance, refinishing or repainting in the future). The interior is fsc-certified teak cabinets and the flooring is a strand-woven bamboo and slate. The walls are kept a simple white to allow paintings by the monks (a number of the monks are very talented artists). Solatubes are used to sculpt in natural light. The idea is that the peaceful beauty comes from the contemplation gardens, courtyards and the artwork to create a space for healing for decades to come.
The building is composed of 4 modules that were built in Oregon and shipped down to Big Sur, which was no easy feat.
I highly recommend a visit to the monastery. Overlooking the ocean, it is one of the most inspiring and deeply spiritual places.
photos by Scott Landry / Studio 101 Designs