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Mind Archeology

Lee seungho, Kwak Min Seok
South Korea

As we go through life, we experience various emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, regret, and so on. These emotions become embedded in our minds like splinters and cause a variety of inner problems such as depression, lack of self-esteem and stress. These emotions have a negative impact on our lives and the process of resolving them is important for our inner growth and finding peace. However, we often tend to deny or ignore them. This is not the right solution as it only maximizes the negative emotions. It is important to find the Root of what is causing these emotions to arise in us, so I propose a meditation space where we can excavate the fragments, collect the pieces, find the Root and resolve them to achieve inner peace and growth.

Mental archaeology is the journey of excavation to find your inner roots, unearthing the scattered fragments of your emotions. It's like following the trail left by a river, collecting the fragments of your emotions and following the tracks to the Root. Light, dirt, wind, water, stones, human footsteps, etc. are all traces, projections of your own emotions, which can also be signposts to find the Root. As you search for the Root, you'll see, hear and touch the fragments, unearthing the artifacts of your mind one by one and putting the pieces of your emotions together. Once you reach the Root, you realize that just as the beginning of a river is a small trickle, your emotions are temporary and changing. Emotions change based on momentary experiences and situations, and may even disappear after the moment passes. This realization puts us in the mindset of graciously accepting our emotions and letting them pass. Accept your emotions as part of who you are, but understand that they are fleeting. Just as small drops of water add up to a large river, small, fleeting emotions add up to a river of emotions. This river is constantly changing and flowing, and we must learn to understand and embrace it as we are swept along by its flow. "Knowing and accepting the impermanence of emotions, and gaining self-reflection and enlightenment through the flow. That's what Mental Archaeology is all about.

Bokjang-ri, located in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, is known for its beautiful terrain where mountains and rivers meet. There are two unused buildings in the area that we would like to renovate and expand to create a meditation space in harmony with nature. Using the natural characteristics of Bokjang-ri, surrounded by mountains, we want to create a Retreat Center where people can escape from the city center and enjoy meditation and relaxation.

LANDSCAPE: To bring the building into harmony with nature, we designed it to be embedded in the ground. This design maximizes respect for the natural terrain and ensures that the building blends in with it, not against it. We also wanted to create a mass along the axis of the river, bringing the natural movement and traces of the river's flow into the interior of the building. The entrance to the building is underground to create a sense of isolation from the outside world. In this way, visitors are cut off from outside stimuli as they enter the building and are able to focus entirely on their inner selves. We also designed the pathways to gradually rise above the ground, allowing visitors to have a meditative experience and gradually connect with nature.

INTERIOR SPACE: The interior of the building is designed around natural elements. Ceilings and walls are pierced or opened to allow light and the natural landscape to enter, allowing light, shadows, wind chimes, and other elements to permeate the space. There are also elements within the building that incorporate the existing terrain. For example, rocks were left exposed and trees were not removed, allowing visitors to feel the presence of nature. By creating a path that retraces the river, visitors are encouraged to experience a journey of discovery, finding traces of nature and, in the process, finding inner harmony and balance.

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