12/22/08

Monastery of Our Lady, Novy Dvur

John Pawson designed this new monastery for the French Cistercian monks in Touzim, Czech Republic. Completed in 2004, it built on an existing 18th century manor house. The functions of worship led to very simple forms that conformed with the existing site. Pawson researched the strict rules, Saint Bernard's stipulations for worship.

A sort of self-enclosed city with three agricultural wings conformed to a 12th century scheme for monasteries. Despite all this, the quality of light and proportion are modern and enlightening. Contemporary interiors are devoid of artistic or decorative figures as pure white walls, ceilings, and floors suggest a creative space and time.
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