contemporary monastery

2019 | wimberly, tx

Located on a hilly slope in Wimberley, Texas the project was to design a contemporary monastery focusing on the relationship of public and private spaces. The program was a monastery which could house twenty-four monks as well as hold public events. The program included a church, private chapel, offices, library, cafeteria, communal kitchen, monk cells (rooms), as well as a unique way for the monks to make money. 

The unique factor of the project is that each monk has their own goat, and the program is centered around the daily routine of the interactions of the monks and their goat. Caring for a goat requires structure, stability, dedication and work, traits that are encouraged of monks. The complex also includes a factory for producing goat milk and cheese to sell to the community. The site strategy includes grouping the different types of spaces with gardens, including the public spaces of the church, the monk quarters and the pen for the goats. The program is stretched across the sloping site with the goats at the highest point, aligned with the church tower. Because the monastery is located on a high point in Wimberley, it is the goats and church tower which are most visible, trying to represent community and inclusitivioty. From all of the spaces on the site there are visual connections back to the goats.