Architecture of repose: Creating moments for retreat and intimacy
The fast-paced nature of contemporary culture acts as a catalyst for anxiety due to overstimulation. This paper explores how the built environment can be designed in order to bring people from a state of overstimulation to a state of dignified calmness and composure. The goal of this exploration is to understand architecture’s ability to help people live thoughtful and relational lives. Research continues to prove the links between the built environment and personal well-being. What are the qualities of places that relieve us from the disharmonies of contemporary life and lead us towards a life of intimacy and repose? This investigation is explored through the analysis of three case studies. The first case study is a combination of analysis and an experiential description of a walk through Chicago to Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The second case study explores Fay Jones’ Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This discussion is largely informed by writings from "Outside the Pale": The Architecture of Fay Jones. The third case study analyzes the Japanese tea hut typology and the roji, the connected entrance path, as written about by authors Kakuzo Okakura and Ann Cline. The reader will learn how spaces and environments can affect personal and social well-being. The result of this discourse will be a greater understanding of how environments can provide relief and retreat for the refreshment of an anxious culture.