Cellular Refuge

Cellular Refuge: A Participatory Scaffold for Meditation focuses on layering, complexity and collaboration to promote harmony between humans and nature. The structure emphasizes the emptiness of the space and contrasts with the surrounding forest. The framework is designed to evolve through collective participation and transcend the human-centered understanding of architecture. It offers a space for connection and coexistence of people, flora and fauna. Built on a 30x30x30 cm grid of 600 elements with 25×25 mm wooden bars, the scaffolding invites visitors to contribute to its continuous development by reorganizing, adding and completing the three-dimensional wooden frames.

Growth in various dimensions

The concept of dynamics is captured by continuous aggregation of each cell according to the growth rules of cellular automata, mimicking natural arrangements. Two columns create an artificial canopy that remains incomplete and waits to be filled by nature in a variety of ways.

The structure promotes growth in various dimensions for living beings by integrating elements such as wind, light and vegetation from nature. This improves the organic growth and networking of the scaffold. The scaffolding serves not only as a meditative retreat, but also as a dynamic ecosystem that evolves through the contributions of its visitors and the environment, symbolizing the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.


Developed and realized under the direction of Fiona Zisch and Alberto Fernández González with the
Students Bhagyashree Amle, Jr-Yun Lin, Bing Lu, Pranayita Myadam, Julia Zhu.

This project would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors and experts.

We would like to thank: Rudi Wittmann, Trewit, Florian Reittinger, KFD and Christoph Löberbauer, Sägewerk Löberbauer