Kripalu Master Plan
The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is located in Lenox, Massachusetts, a scenic town nestled among the Berkshire Mountains. Visitors enter the 123 acre property on a winding tree-lined drive passing remnants of the 19th century estate. The road ultimately leads them to Kripalu's main building, which is beautifully sited on the hillside and offers panoramic views of the Stockbridge Bowl, the surrounding forests and the mountains beyond.
The building's ideal setting is currently undermined by an abundance of cars and pavement. Parking creates congestion along the entry road, a ring road prevents people within the building accessing the landscape to the south, and cars clutter the pictorial views up and down the hillside.
Site and Landscape
A principal goal of the Master Plan is to improve the relationship between the building, landscape and cars in order to enhance the visitor's experience and to minimize the ecological impact on the site. The proposal removes most of the roadways and parking lots around the main building and expands the southwest lot to accommodate all of the facility's parking needs. This lot is both convenient to the main building and invisible from the rest of the site due to its sloping topography and proposed landscaping. Finally, new buildings proposed for the site take advantage of the beautiful site and views without substantially increasing the building mass or ecological footprint.
Since most visitors find the Kripalu site a breathtaking and moving place, they typically regard the main building negatively, as an awkward, overbearing and confusing presence in the landscape. Transforming the buildings into something positive, up to the task of Kripalu’s ambitious future plans, and a worthy partner to the magnificent site, was the major challenge of the Master Plan.
The Master Plan envisions three new structures. Most important will be the new Wellness Center, containing all spaces for the Healing Arts, to the east of the main building. A large teaching and meeting space is planned to the south of the main building, but built into the topography without obstructing the view from the main floor. A detached housing structure is also planned to the west of the main building.