© UNITEDLAB Associates

Round Retreat // UNITEDLAB Associates LLC

The building is anchored to the site by its relationship …

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Text description provided by the architects.

The building is anchored to the site by its relationship to natural elements. Four trees and a pond present a natural matrix from which our design arises. The formal strategy begins by encircling one existing tree totally and allowing the other trees to erode the perimeter, forming concave spaces in the donut-shaped form.

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

In this way, trees and architecture form a figure-ground relationship. To reinforce the effect of a pure geometry, the “donut” is populated by circular spaces that are excavated from the whole, while creating free-flowing circulation spaces around the programmed areas. By liberating the structure of right angles, visitors are allowed to sync with the rhythms and orders of nature as the architecture merges with its surroundings and become a serene backdrop for relaxation and healing.

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

Unexpected glimpses of nature reveal themselves as occupants circumnavigate the building.
Each program element is distributed in cylindrical spaces sized relative to their functions. The relatively low occupancy for both the residence and the therapy uses allows for generous circulation spaces throughout the project. The sculptural passages combined with the more intimate programmed areas provide a warm atmosphere for groups to gather in but also allows for quiet introspection and solitude.

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

The arrangement of each cylinder is not based on programmatic clusters or adjacencies, rather it is a free-flowing sequence that encourages unexpected interactions. For example, there is a sauna on both north and south sides with bedrooms, spa rooms, and a kitchen interspersed between them. The openness of the floor plan facilitates serendipitous connections and generates new relationships between occupants, architecture, and nature.
Alongside a deliberately designed spacial experience, the building is strategically designed to minimize its footprint, both literally and figuratively.

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

To protect the natural vegetation, the entire building is elevated 1.5m off the ground, allowing wildlife to pass through..

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

© UNITEDLAB Associates

Round Retreat Gallery

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