MONASTERY OF OUR LADY OF NOVY DVUR
Project category: Lounge
Furniture: CH24 Wishbone Chair (oak/oil/natural papercord, CH53 stool (oak/oil/natural papercord) by Hans J. Wegner
Location: Dobrá Voda 20, 364 01 Toužim, Czech Republic
Architect: John Pawson
In early 2000, John Pawson was asked to design a modern new monastery in Bohemia in the Czech Republic, on the ruins of an 18th century baroque site. The project was commissioned by Czech Cistercian monks, who wanted to found a new monastery after having been linked to the Abbey of Sept-Fons in Burgundy, France, for many years. The new Nový Dvůr monastery (Czech for 'new wing') was the first monastery founded in Europe for 50 years. The Czech monks had seen Pawson's projects in books, and found in his architectural works the tone, spirituality and expression they sought for their new monastery. As part of the large and complex project, the original baroque main building had to be restored and integrated with a number of new buildings, housing a church, chapel, guest house and agricultural and visitor facilities.
The Nový Dvůr monastery was ready for handover in September 2004, and is currently home to 20 monks. The monastery produces a number of products, including face creams and food products like jam, coffee and mustard, which are exported to several European countries.
LAYOUT & FURNISHINGS
The original baroque main building, new church and new agricultural wings form a quadrangle around a green courtyard. All the buildings are painted white, and the very simple architectural expression is in harmony with the minimalistic white interiors. Pawson has worked with a sculptural expression both inside and out, and his use of natural light creates interesting contrasts between light and dark spaces. Warmth is added to the clear white interiors by Dawson's use of wood, including the exposed ceiling structures and furniture such as the Wishbone Chair and CH53 footrest.
John Pawson was an obvious choice as architect for a monastic order with a historic taste for settings with spatial clarity, harmonic proportions, good natural lighting and subtle, simple details.
ARCHITECT JOHN PAWSON COMMENTS ON THE CHOICE OF FURNITURE:
"When we were looking for furniture for the monastery, the requirements were quite specific. It was important that the pieces we chose would sit quietly in the architectural spaces I had designed and would meet the functional needs of the community, but they also had to be consistent with the Cistercian values of modesty, simplicity and appropriateness. The chairs from CHS meet all the requirements!"