Laurens Health’s new building was completed in December 2015. The Intermezzo Zuid Rehabilitation Center in Rotterdam houses geriatric rehabilitation facilities and 160 rooms.
One of the features is a Meditative Space, designed by artist Ingeborg Meulendijks. Laurens Health selected Meulendijks for the way she approached the room in its entirety, as a complete work of art where the structure, fixtures, and furniture come together and reinforce one another.
According to Laurens, the work of the artist shows a quietude and serenity that is expressed in spaces with a meditative character. “Meulendijks manages to capture the intimacy that comes with silence and transpose it into a concrete and unique experience. Add to that the sense of sanctuary that her work exudes, and you’ve got places where people can feel at home.”
Meditative space in Intermezzo Zuid Rehabilitation Center
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Year of completion: 2015
Floor space: 39 sq mtr - 420 sq feet
Type: non-denominational space for contemplation
Design Assignment: interior, furniture, textiles
The Meditative Space for Intermezzo Zuid brings together a number of disciplines. Its wooden interior is fabricated in ash, walnut, and cedar, with woven tapestries integrated into the walls. The wall-filling jacquards, entitled Fabric of Silence, soften the room’s acoustics while depicting the stillness of a primitive forest, as well as the vitality and restorative power of living greenery. In ancient myths, the tree often stands for life, and it is a common element linking all manner of religious beliefs and ideologies. The tree-like patterns in the Fabric of Silence are modeled after the dawn redwood, or Metasequoia glyptostroboides, known as a living fossil.
The woolen tapestries absorb ambient sound, soften echoes, and provide a natural sense of protection for the vulnerable visitor. The artwork has the aim of cultivating calm within the space, both acoustically and visually. This is achieved through an interplay of the natural materials (goat’s wool and sheep’s wool), texture, visibility of the weaving technique, and the use of color in the woven motifs, with all these aspects reinforcing one another. Dawn redwoods (photographed in arboretums in the Netherlands and Germany) serve as the basis for the woven patterns.
The tapestries were developed and fabricated with TextielLab, of the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg.