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Art Gallery & Residence for Dr. John & Mirananda Mann

Mount Shasta, California, USA

Dr. Mann is a retired Columbia University professor who has written books on spirituality. He and his wife Mirananda wished to begin a new life near magnificent Mount Shasta mountain, the USA's third highest mountain. Their site is an acre (6.6 Mu) of west sloping land partially facing Mount Shasta. Their building contains three distinct areas; an art gallery for Asian art, living quarters and an inner sanctum for meditation. The art gallery is a series of enclosed and cocoon-like spaces which step down the natural slope of the site. It is a flexible and controlled environment both to protect the art works and to control the lighting visual effect of the interior. The spaces ebb and flow with varying ceiling heights and entrance widths. It is mystical and mysterious. The living portion of the house is a kind of crystalline structure of overlapping, undulating metal sheathing rising 30 feet high towards a panoramic view of Mount Shasta. Two levels contain the living and bedroom areas with open wells to a cascading pond below. Treelike support columns embrace the entire structure and fortify all floor, ceiling and walls. The third area of the building is the "Solaquarium" (Sun and water), a circular floor is raised above a catch basin pond. A circular waterfall surrounds the floor in a pure sheet of water. A continuous band of built-in flowers and plants embroiders the upper walls and a movable, openable giant skylight mural allows natural sunshine into the space-more religious than utilitarian. Accents of colored glass dance around the room melding with the reflection of sparkling water throughout the space-full of repose yet leaping with the sun's brilliant show of light. No tree or bush has been removed from the site. The building does not disturb its natural setting and, in fact, is designed as a result of this requirement. Thus, the building treads lightly on its site yet enhances and exalts it.

 



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