Zem

What lies beneath or within is at the core of the meditative quest.

The project is a conversion of a stone barn into a meditation center in the rural town of Vidzeme, Latvia. Zem – Latvian for under – proposes an underground addition to accommodate the program that exceeds the volume of the existing structure, creating a spatial sequence that privileges tranquility, discovery, and reflection. While the exterior of the barn and its surrounding landscape appear intact at first glance, a series of visible micro-objects – stairs, skylights, ramps – hint at the architecture that is embedded within. Both below grade and above, daylight carves into the carefully tailored interior spaces, accentuating the clarity of architectural volumes. The program includes bedrooms for up to 20 overnight visitors, a skylight yoga studio, silence chamber for meditation, sauna, kitchen, dining room, library, and a staff apartment.

Project collaborator: Clay Odom, studioMODO