Facility: Fairview Southdale Hospital
Location: Edina, Minn.
Architect: Perkins+Will, Minneapolis
Patients, staff and visitors at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn., seeking a relaxing, soothing space can find refuge in the hospital's simple yet elegant Elsie O. Mitchell Meditation Sanctuary.
The sanctuary was designed so anyone entering could quietly reflect and experience a feeling of spirituality by leaving the high-stress hospital environment behind, if even for a short time.
The space is a series of carefully composed vignettes, unified by vertical and horizontal shapes. The eternal flame is a backdrop for the water feature, appearing from a ceiling slot and providing soft, relaxing sounds.
A tall window contrasts the solid wall of venetian plaster with angled slot windows admitting small shafts of light. The prayer wall, a custom art piece inspired by the wailing wall in Jerusalem, has narrow slots for individual prayers and fills up each week.
A cork labyrinth anchors the central gathering space, and a vertical panel in the northeast corner points to Mecca. The soothing space is rich in symbolism, based in simplicity and provides a respite for those who need it.
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