Metta Forest Monastery

We collaborated with the monks of Metta Forest to reimagine their monastery, expanding the modest campus to house their growing community.

FF&P and the monks of Metta Forest have envisioned a new Meditation and Ordination Hall. The new development will offer the community a peaceful and serene setting to learn about the teachings of the Buddha. The 1,200 square foot facility will feature louvered doors and windows that provide filtered, natural light and cross ventilation. The image of the Buddha, visible from the north approach will become a focal point at the top of the hill, bringing the monks and the extended community together into the Meditation Hall. A smaller 800 square foot building to the west of the Meditation Hall will house monastic functions including an office, tea room, storage, bathrooms and outdoor washing area.
The Meditation Hall will be built on a plinth accessible to all. Sheltering roof overhangs protect the building from direct sunlight and provide a shaded path to view the Mount Palomar State Park beyond. The paths also serve to commemorate festivals such as the Magha Puja celebration where followers of the Buddha circumambulate around the building three times with candles, incense and flowers under the full moon to celebrate Buddha’s teachings. A courtyard flanked by an open trellis to the south will feature an Ashokan Pillar from Thailand to celebrate the development of the project and represent its connection to the Thai Forest Tradition. A gravel field between the two buildings will serve as the canvas for ever-changing raked ground patterns connecting craft, monastic life and nature.