Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the newly proposed Zenbo Seinei retreat is a timber wellness center that sits high above Japan’s Awaji Island. The project is described as a place to experience zen as guests enjoy an escape from urban life. The retreat will feature open-air baths, tofu-based cuisine, and yoga and meditation classes all while providing unbelievable views of the landscape.
One major attraction for the project is the opportunity to experience zazen, a sitting form of meditation that allows someone to gain insight into their true nature of being. The second floor of the project will be used as an open-air studio for the practice.
Like many works by Shigeru Ban Architects, Zenbo Seinei is made from timber. Its height is dramatized by its thin floor plate that measures 90 meters (295 feet) long, and only 7.2 meters (24 feet) wide. Large structural members used in a Vierendeel truss allow for a daring cantilever of 21 meters (almost 70 feet).
Zenbo Seinei was commissioned by Pasona Group, a company with facilities on the island. It describes this project as responding to a cultural shift that is changing values on life and work. Visitors won't have to wait long to experience it; Zenbo Seinei is planned to open in April 2022.